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'Sons of Guns' Stars

Punished By the Feds

for MAJOR Firearms Violations

12/23/2011 5:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Son of Guns William Hayden
The star of the Discovery reality show "Sons of Guns" has been forced to surrender his Federal Firearm License after government officials discovered a bunch of his weapons had mysteriously gone missing ... TMZ has learned.

The man caught in the crosshairs is a famous gunsmith named William Hayden -- who founded Red Jacket Firearms in Baton Rouge Louisiana ... and hired his daughter Stephanie to help run the business.

Things went swimmingly until 2009 ... when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms conducted a routine inspection of RJF and discovered 10 guns registered to the company could not be accounted for ... a big, BIG problem.

We're told the feds pinned the blame on William and Stephanie -- and were looking to take serious action that could have resulted in the end of RJF.

But law enforcement sources tell us ... the Hayden's struck a deal with feds in 2010, in which the two agreed to surrender their gun-making licenses ... and in exchange, they could appoint a LICENSED person to take over the company.

It didn't take long for William and Stephanie to pick their successor  ... they went with Vincent Buckles (pictured left) -- another gunsmith often featured on the reality show.

William and Stephanie went back to work for the company -- but since they are no longer allowed to own the gun business, they are working as employees.

Reps for the Haydens, RJF and Discovery all had no comment.

update_bar
TMZ has learned Vincent Buckles has since left the company -- and two other licensed people are currently in charge of the business.

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113 COMMENTS

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31.

c    

There goes my favorite show :(

1012 days ago
32.

Rich    

Meanwhile we have 2000 missing weapons purposely trafficed by the ATF to Mexico used in hundreds of killings in Mexico and at least one in the US. Part of the Obama/Holder program to make causation for more gun control in the USA. ATF/participants, Holder, Obama, all need to be brought up on treason, assesory to murder, and corruption, as welll as illegal weapons trafficing. Who ever thought our country could get this bad. Every day it seems to get worse. n

1012 days ago
33.

tgkrato    

The so called owner Williams Hayden acted like he was a god. The way he got on his people was uncalled for. He tryed to act like a Big **** but now he has problems. His daughter acted like she was stuck up, and god gift to men. You know something is still going on when Vincent Buckles left the company, probably because Hayden tried to still boss him around. I say take yhat program off of the air. Hayden acts like he knows everything, but what happened to the weapons that ended up missing, to me that is a FEDERAL Violation.

1012 days ago
34.

PokerStar    

Why should he be in trouble when the same government sold guns to the Mexican gun-runners that ended up killing one of our Law Enforcement Officers? I guess the rules are different for us?

1012 days ago
35.

Korrie    

I am wondering if Vince gave TMZ the heads up on this? Makes you wonder.. This comes out after the show runs that has him all upset over his thinking Will thought he was like Jesus? Which was not what it really was like. And this comes out when the RJ crew goes on vacation. I do not care who holds the Federal Firearms License. I like the show. And no I do not live in a trailer park. I own my own home on land in which I own guns.

1012 days ago
36.

MsSuburbia    

Hey, TMZ elementary-level writer ~ Take the apostrophe out of "the Hayden's." Thanks. Major pet peeve: using apostrophes for pluralizing.

1012 days ago
37.

Joe    

I have a friend who bought a handgun - and something happened at the shop and they didn't register the transfer right. They called him twice in very short order to get him to come in. And when he went there (I was with him) - they were VERY appreciative that he came in. They made a VERY big deal about how big of an issue it was.

So to lose ten - complete incompetence at best.

Vincent seemed cool. He seemed to know his stuff.

1012 days ago
38.

jim dorsam    

what a bummer. i really liked the show. best wishes for all involved. merry xmas and happy new year.

1012 days ago
39.

spacepotato    

Just cause you've got an FFL/SOT doesn't mean it's smart to keep your entire NFA inventory on it. Consider establishing a Trust as well. As soon as your Form 1's clear, transfer the NFA items into the trust.

1012 days ago
40.

the wow factor    

http://www.sos.la.gov/tabid/819/Default.aspx just type in red jacket to find out who owns the place

1012 days ago
41.

tom    

Too many government busy-body laws.

This is supposed to be a FREE country,,, and the 2nd amendment is QUITE clear, The Congress (IE: The Federal Government will make NO LAWS (that includes regulations or rules) infringing upon the right to bear arms, OWN, SELL, POSSES, Manufacture, trade or lawfully use a firearm.

1011 days ago
42.

Wolfwolveswolf    

If you like guns, you can relate, appreciate what is there about guns. Don't like guns, change the channel. It's that simple.

1010 days ago
43.

Mike    

10 guns missing Vs. 64,000 guns missing in the Fast and Furious scandal.

1010 days ago
44.

allen    

it's easy to "lose" a gun. send it out to be refinished. log in the book as serial# 1000004 when it comes back, log it in as serial# 100000A because the stamping isn't clear an the "4" looks like an "A" #1000004 suddenly becomes "missing" even though it's sitting right there in your inventory under 10000A

1010 days ago
45.

mya    

samantha the boat you're speaking of was built for the sheriff so they could protect the people, what do we protect ourselves with when the bad guys come crawling in our windows? a fire poker? you should watch the whole show.

1009 days ago
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