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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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46.

laughing boy    

Only in the "Good ole USA" ha ha ha - William Hayden what a redneck - Does the USA proud ha ha ha

941 days ago
47.

theshot    

It's a TV show people, like a soap opera, everything is staged......

940 days ago
48.

bill    

Ask Eric Holder...

940 days ago
49.

JAN    

hahahaha! Gun-toting Morons!

940 days ago
50.

Mike D    

The ATF should worry more about the thousands of guns they GAVE to the mexican cartels!!! Another case of do as I say not as I do!

939 days ago
51.

jay    

wtf does Obama have to do with red jacket, yea the government is targeting red jacket,there are some real dumb a** leaving comments.

939 days ago
52.

Rick Estrada    

The government will always go after ffl holders... This is not the first time... Will is a good man... And he does alot for law enforcement... Never ever trust the government...

938 days ago
53.

W    

I don't really like the way the Obama presidency has gone, but blaming Obama for this is extremely narrow minded. I think you reichwingers blame him for everything. The next time you get diarrhea or a flat tire why don't you just blame Obama. That's your logic...... non-existent

937 days ago
54.

Kim     

Really TMZ and all of u idiots out there this happened in 2009 I was just at the shop recently vince is still there and no stephanie is not knocked up by kris

936 days ago
55.

Kim     

With knowing stephanie hayden personally i can say that this is completely false, and no vince has not left the crew he is still there .. the crap ppl come up with is just insane leave stephanie and will alone u jealous creeps. they are super nice ppl and will give u the shirts off their backs!!! i swear u ppl have no clue what actually goes on and to the person that says kris is a dummy u are WRONG!! kris and vince and the entire crew at red jacket are actually pretty smart ppl!! LEAVE THESE GUYS ALONE!!

936 days ago
56.

Kim     

Also if this were true I am sure will would realse a statement and their website would not be up and running and their business would be close and it is still open and running ... again this was back in 09 ppl and for all of u haters why even comment? when half of u have no clue about red jacket or the **** that will builds and who he tailors too!!!

936 days ago
57.

Kim     

Also for u morons out there this show is not staged ....

936 days ago
58.

Matt    

Will is a nice guy ey? Well not if all of this is true.
http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/08/18/Bum.pdf

934 days ago
59.

ClowneyFace    

Stephanie wears clown makeup and needs to lose the fupa.

932 days ago
60.

Heather    

Will has since been sued for giving out fraudulent shares to his company and not paying up to the other "owners" of the store when the show aired.. http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/08/18/Bum.pdf

932 days ago
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