Richard Wyatt of “American Guns” Infamy Convicted in Federal Court

Richard Wyatt, known for his role on the Discovery Channel program “American Guns”, has been formally convicted of 10 felony counts including conspiracy, fraud, and tax evasion. The jury was hung on three counts of illegally importing weapons.  The verdict is the result of years-long federal investigations into the Wyatt family and the Gunsmoke Guns gun shop. According to the Denver Post, the various charges carry up to 15 years in federal prison. 

The case itself is a crazy example of how one could operate a business. Before negotiating a deal with the Discovery Channel, Wyatt had previously surrendered his Federal Firearms Licence (2009). Simply put, the ATF is reasonable to work with and voluntary forfeiture screams malfeasance, but without a license, Wyatt earned through the show over $500,000 from 2011 to 2012 before reaction from Sandy Hock got the show canceled.

Reading through the case, Wyatt concealed income and fraudulently operated the Gunsmoke Guns shop, despite another owner on the license. The court records show that Wyatt conspired with the owner of “Triggers”, another local shop, to operate the business under a straw license.

Considering the recent choices for various firearms gun shows have all ended in felony arrests, one hopes the various networks are a bit more judicious before selecting another “cast”



Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Yggdrasill

    It’s almost like the networks conspiring against gun ownership by choosing people with a lot of dirt on them for their shows. Both the peddo and this guy had problems long before the shows aired.

    • Giolli Joker

      It could also be that serious gun shop owners prefer to make money by actually doing their job rather than acting as clowns on cable TV.
      However I admit that I kinda liked the show Family Guns.

      • john huscio

        I like wild west guns myself

        • Jeff

          “Considering the recent choices for various firearms gun shows have ALL (emphasis mine) ended in felony arrests,…”

          Was there a felony arrest with Wild West Alaska/WWG? I don’t recall that.

          • Nobody

            The owner was convicted of illegal hunting/guiding I believe.

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      Yeah, because the networks just love it when the stars of shows they spend millions to produce, promote and air turn out to be child molesters and thieves.

      • BillC

        You’re assuming rationality, don’t do that.

        • TheNotoriousIUD

          This is medication level paranoia.

          • tts

            Yup. Imagining conspiracy with no supporting evidence. Bugs the hell out of me that people keep doing this stuff.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Sadly, the wack-o squad is getting a toe hold here lately. Strangely since about November….

          • iksnilol

            I’d usually call you out on that, but recently I’ve seen weapons grade stupidity. A couple of days ago somebody was claiming they hid what religion an attacker was so that they could help fan the flames of a race war.

          • Nicks87

            They do that all the time but I don’t think anybody is trying to start a race war. It’s so crazy people don’t walk into a mosque and start shooting innocent people for something they had nothing to do with.

      • Nicks87

        Yeah I don’t know. I wouldn’t put it past some of these slime ball TV producers to have a hidden agenda. I don’t think the history channel gives a s**t if these guys implode after they’ve collected their advertising money.

        • TheNotoriousIUD

          I know people who work in the entertainment industry in television and film and that would never happen.

          • Big Daddy

            I say BS, you think you know them and they are probably just workers or middle management not the people that make the big decisions,

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            You have not a clue what you are talking about.

          • Big Daddy

            Then if you do you would know what notoriously common degenerates they are. And Nicks87 assessment would be very accurate which was my experience in the music industry. I also know people that worked in TV. I lived in NYC. In one case a friend who is an ex-cop worked for a law and order show, he would tell me about the conversations he overheard from actors. So maybe my experiences are not ALL first hand but I have enough. I’m 60 years old and have been around it enough, more than I care to be. The whole entertainment industry is a bunch of the most degenerate cowards and rat bastards in the world, druggies, criminals of the worst sort(mafia, gangs), pedifiles (like Roman Polansky) and self-absorbed egotistical out of touch pieces of junk. So do not tell me I do not know what I am talking about. Just look at their reaction to the past election. Yes there are some exceptions but few and far between

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Your misconceptions about the majority of the people who work in entertainment are as stereotypically nutty as the out of whack opinions of the far far left about gun owners.

          • Big Daddy

            Either you are one of them or on the kool aid or obtusely oblivious to your surroundings.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            “…you are one of them…”

            The classic cry of the hopelessly paranoid.

            Enjoy your delusions.

          • Big Daddy

            Nope…..you’re the kool aid drinker.

          • Nashvone

            ^^^^^This!!!!!

          • Nicks87

            I think they look for articulate people with pretty faces they probably don’t do a lot of background checks. Didn’t Will Hayden loose his FFL prior to the filming of sons of guns?

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Im not sure as I never watched any of these shows or paid much attention to the ensuing controversies but its certainly possible that some producer didnt do his due diligence.
            The idea that a TV network is purposely hiring manchurian pedophiles to work for years on profitable shows only to”activate” them somehow and then discredit gun owners is Looney Tunes.
            If TV producers and left wing politicians were that smart guns would have been outlawed long ago.

          • Nicks87

            I wasn’t going that far with it but I just think if they really were trying to promote firearms they could pick some better people to represent the community. When these people turn out to be turds it’s a let down and it makes it easy for anti gun people to say “look gun owners are f-ing crazy.”

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            No, I understand what youre saying.
            The problem or part of it is that these producers dont know what theyre even looking for so anyone who appears to be “of the gun culture” gets approved.
            In other words this stuff is happening because the show runners are dumb not evil geniuses.

          • Dan

            They turned to the “gun culture” because they wanted something that was seen as edgy. They didn’t care how firearms or their owners are really portrayed. As long as it came off as a semi dangerous lifestyle that secretly appealed to some people and completely revolted others they knew they’d have viewers. Like Orange County Choppers look how cool we are building badarse choppers. Most of the viewers im assuming never operated a motorcycle.

      • Big Daddy

        Actually they do prefer those types. I suggest you do some research into people of the entertainment industry. They are almost all degenerates and of questionable character. Hollyweird is a cesspool and always has been as well as the music industry.

        • Nicks87

          Oh the trash that gets passed off as music nowdays… don’t even get me started.

      • Yggdrasill

        They spend a lot more than that on political propaganda and social engineering. You are very naive.

        • TheNotoriousIUD

          And you should go take your medication.

      • lucusloc

        They do this all the time with stars in other areas. The added media coverage is basically free advertising for them. Half the time they pick stars for reality type shows based on controversies surrounding them. Picking stars for gun shows based on their likelihood to wind up in the news later would actually be conforming to the wider pattern, not bucking it.

        • TheNotoriousIUD

          Nobody wants any extra “publicity” from being associated with a child molester. Thats the type of thing that makes sponsors (Where their money comes from) run for the hills.

          • Vince

            Yep Hollywood proved that they avoid child molesters like the plague in the way they have shunned Roman Polanski over the years!!!

      • Ben Pottinger

        I’d say it’s also quite likely that the people on these shows end up getting far more attention from various multi letter agencies. The thing about “law” in the United States now is its not really down to if you’ve broken a law or regulation or not, you most certainly have broken *something*, it’s simply about how much time and effort the district attorney feels like putting into making your life suck.

        It’s insane to think that it’s completely impossible for a single person to know all the laws of even one specific field (guns for example) and yet we still consider “ignorance of the law to be no excuse”.

        I read a book a few years back that was downright terrifying. Some people have served lengthy prison sentences for what amounted to paperwork mistakes. It’s insane what we now consider just cause for locking someone in a box.

        • LetsTryLibertyAgain

          Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent

          by Harvey Silverglate and Alan M. Dershowitz

          • Ben Pottinger

            Boom! Thank you! I’d been looking for the title because I’d “loaned” out my copy and it’s walked off. Been wanting to grab another copy of it. Scary book though right?

          • LetsTryLibertyAgain

            I figure I’m probably good for around seven felonies before breakfast. I guess I’ve always been a bit of an overachiever in this area. I should probably get an honorable mention because none of my victimless felonies fall under the popular illegal vegetation category. Being a certifiable gun nut, I’m as fastidious as I can be to avoid violating any of the plethora of stupid administrative law created by unelected bureaucrats at the BATFE that would then designate me as a felon and thus ineligible to own firearms. Between federal bureaucrats and state legislatures, almost everything is a felony these days.

          • Ben Pottinger

            Speeding is a felony in NC. Can’t remember if it’s 15 over or 25 over, but one is a felony. Nuts. And I’m with you, us gun nuts have to be paranoid about the minutia of the law to avoid messing up our favorite hobby.

      • Beachhawk

        The networks failed to do their due diligence and wound up with failing programs and a lot of egg on their collective faces.

    • n0truscotsman

      Its like Doomsday preppers. You pick the nuttiest, most unrealistic people to represent the entire movement of preppers.

    • USMC03Vet

      Hollywood is largely a cesspool of scum. There doesn’t need to be a conspiracy to make the people look bad.

    • DanGoodShot

      You know they did background checks before doing these shows. They selected these idiots on purpose with the thinking of, “Perfect this will make the gun community look like a bunch of dirtbags.”

  • BattleshipGrey

    Seems like the TV business is becoming too lucrative and people are willing to do stupid things just to get a show. I just read yesterday about two guys on a hunting show that poached elk outside​ of their permit territory to get footage of the kill.

    • Nicks87

      Hopefully they got caught. I hate TV hunting shows, they are so over dramatic and they act like shooting some dumb animal is a huge accomplishment. Where I’m from it’s just a normal yearly function. It helps offset the grocery bill.

      • Sianmink

        Chris Brackett’s ‘Arrow Affliction’ being an amazing exception.

        • Nicks87

          I haven’t seen it yet but I do like Steve Rinella’s show.

          • bobinmi

            If you like Meateater do not watch “arrow affliction”. They should not be mentioned in the same sentence.

      • DrewN

        Right? if I whooped like an idiot and jumped up and down after harvesting a deer my dad would have slapped me upside the head. And if I’d asked to pose for a photo he probably would have just turned around and left me in the woods.

        • iksnilol

          “Aw shucks, where’d my son go? And who’s this hollering and whooping idjit here?”

          -your concerned father

      • BattleshipGrey

        I think all TV has been overly dramatic. I only catch bits and pieces when I go other places and I can’t stand a minute. I don’t understand how people watch all the drivel and even sit through 5 minute commercial breaks to watch more.

  • Bob

    His daughter is still hot though…

    • Hellbilly

      Very!

      • George Smythson

        kinda’ creepy that he would put his daughter on display like that, though…

        • Geoff Timm

          I’m from Florida, except for the sidearm (no open carry in FL) she’d be considered overdressed. Geoff Who likes the sights in Florida.

          • Sianmink

            Can open carry in your own gun shop though.

          • datimes

            Tee shirt, shorts, flip-flops are the uniform of the day (year).

        • RSG

          Both kids were step children.

    • Bradley

      I suppose if you like bony women with long necks and tiny heads.

  • Gun Fu Guru

    “Considering the recent choices for various firearms gun shows have all ended in felony arrests, one hopes the various networks are a bit more judicious before selecting another ‘cast.'”

    I guess that whole “innocent until proven guilty” thing doesn’t really matter regarding the other arrested individuals.

    • Squirrel

      That just means they were arrested for crimes which would constitute a felony if convicted

      • Gun Fu Guru

        He has pre-judged the “recent choices” and the “various networks” based solely on the criminal accusation. It is not very subtle.

  • Beardedrambler

    No. People of the gun. Real people wouldn’t do a show. The types that would do a show are just these types. Losers that aren’t above doing illegal things just for a buck or fame or both.

  • Graham2

    It’s not all bad news.
    I’m going to cast the ladies in my forthcoming B-Movie, ‘Attack Of The Giraffe Women’.

    • derpmaster

      The whole show was 100% based around the fact that Paige was a hot 17 year old model. The plastic surgery mom was just bonus points.

      • RickH

        Yeah, the mom’s bolt-ons looked painful.

        • Phillip Cooper

          -scrolls madly back to the pic-

          “The mom was painful to look at”

          Fixed it for you.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Solid premise.

      • Badwolf

        Probably went like this…

        Discovery: do you have an FFL?

        Richard: sure I do, here’s my FFL [points to Paige].

        Discovery: good enough!

  • What a idjit.

  • gusto

    How the hell do they think they can get away with in this day and age? I mean both Wyatt and the tv-company

    Both business wise but with the added scrutiny that celebs get?

  • Rnasser Rnasser

    “Considering the recent choices for various firearms gun shows have all ended in felony arrests, one hopes the various networks are a bit more judicious before selecting another “cast””.

    …nuff said

  • 22winmag

    Raise you hand if you watched the show for anything beyond his daughter’s cleavage.

    • Gary Kirk

      And.. No hands were raised that day..

  • derpmaster
    • 22winmag

      Most blog posts here and elsewhere are “written” with a smart phone and voice recognition.

      Go figure.

    • Saint Stephen the Obvious

      “sandy hock” was an old shed down the road from Sandy Hook. There was a shootout – an old man was shooting rats. Probably why it didn’t get much media attention.

      • Juggernaut

        So there was an actual shooting there as opposed to at the school?

    • Juggernaut

      I think he was going for Sandy “Hoax”.

      • derpmaster

        2edgy

      • imachinegunstuff

        #edgelord

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    His daughters got two 38’s and a .45.

    • aevangel1

      @TheNotoriousIUD

      Your avatar name amuses me. Your comment was pretty funny too.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Thanks

  • Juggernaut

    Screw the ATF and the IRS- they are 2 illegal govt bureaucracies according to the US Constitution

    • kingghidorah

      God I miss talking to dudes like you at gunshows. I tried not paying my taxes once, and I found out, unfortunately, the IRS was in fact real.

  • Paige will probably end up in porn.
    *waiting

    • Graham2

      With a neck that long, I know what old time porn film she could re-make but I’m too much of a gentleman to say! 😉 Very D… T….. !

  • Big Daddy

    It’s not a representation of the gun industry but much more of a representation of the entertainment industry. They attract and prefer certain kinds of types, those types are much more entertaining than a boring person who lives within the law and lives a clean moral life.

  • MrBrassporkchop

    I think the reality tv shows go for people that play things “fast and loose” because it makes for better tv. They single out the more volatile types when they do their casting for any show.

    When the show ends it’s only a matter of time before they get themselves in trouble, especially after having a taste of the good life of extra money and fame and privilege.

    They’re not going to do a show on the sound gun business where nothing interesting happens except maybe letting an employee take off early because it’s slow and they need to hit their labor number for the day. They want the guy that would do something crazy like sending the employee out to wave a sign in a gun costume or something.

  • car54

    Government promotes the illusion of freedom but makes nearly everything illegal so they can get you on anything, anytime. If you are stupid, arrogant or opposed to their agenda they will go after you.

  • RSG

    A year in prison for each minute of fame. Sounds about right. Folks only tuned in for the step-daughter, anyway. Her real last name of Growcock was fitting.

  • MR Mr

    Reality TV of all genres are full of morons and idiots. That’s what happen when you give any moron without real talent their own show. Than all the millennials who love social media and have no ambition can sit there and do what they do best. NOTHING!!!

    • Nicks87

      They’d rather watch someone else living life instead of doing it themselves. Cuz #2layz2werk.

    • iksnilol

      Then why do people in their 40’s watch the most of reality tv?

      • Nashvone

        They’re trying to recapture their misspent youth.

  • Tom

    Any recent news on Will Hayden?

  • valorius

    The ATF is reasonable?

  • El Duderino

    So do I need to send my Wyatt Deep Cover 637 back to S&W?

    *tee hee*

  • derpmaster

    Nah, she’s all push-up bra.

    No question that the mom has had a few $1 bills thrown at her in a dark room filled with 2nd-hand Winston smoke.

  • Andrew Dubya

    *Sandy Hook

  • toms

    I think these guys got enhanced scrutiny because of their high profile. Unfortunately I imagine you could find dirt on many FFL’s if you dug deep enough. I remember several democratic politicians whaling about guns on tv shows during the 12′ election/Sandy Hook fiasco.

  • rdsii64

    The only thing worth watching on American guns was the cleavage.

  • Sledgecrowbar

    I watched one episode through and was immediately disgusted. It doesn’t surprise me at all that “reality” shows about various interesting businesses like gun shops or fishing boats or duck hunting or gator hunting or ice road trucking or whatever go bad before the first episode is finished being edited.

    There’s so amazingly much money involved that they end up with the most offensively sensational characters in front of the camera who sign on to be this freak show example of an otherwise just interesting, not-sensational job. And the director of course has to edit the living daylights out of it so that it locks on the attention of every last lowest common denominator with a TV remote that you never really get a feel for what the actual business is like.

    Gun shops should be really incredibly cool and fun to be able to peak into, but you don’t have to just manufacture drama. In fact, that’s the opposite of what I want to see. Sure, tell me about the real problems that came along, but if none did, don’t fake one in for suspense. I really won’t be disappointed if a gun assembles correctly the first time and it’s a beautiful thing that the customer comes back in and pays for happily.

    Documentaries are the feel of what I want business reality shows to be like. Show me like a Dirty Jobs-kind of thing where maybe a pleasant host walks in and gets a tour and is explained-to the way a job goes from start to finish. No sensationalism, just a How It’s Made-kind of really enjoyable, extremely addictive show that is like Wikipedia with video.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the show’s producers just asked this guy who has a photogenic family and happens to know the first thing about guns to pretend to be a gun shop. If the whole deal turned out to be tailored for the show, it would make sense.

    Also I don’t get the term “straw FFL”. I mean I get the premise, but if he owns the guns and all transfers go through a proper FFL next door or down the street or whatever, is there really a legal issue? Conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion are of course damning, though.

    • kingghidorah

      neva bin done bee foah

  • Thomas Lawrence

    Actually, this is almost certainly the producers desired end game. They can lamely say they keep trying to give pro guns folks a chance, and we keep blowing it. All they have to do is sign a borderline psycho to a show, and the outcome is forgone conclusion. It is also safe to assume that ATFE takes the view that they are all too happy to super scrutinize ANY gun show. Forgot who it was who said if you watch anybody close enough, and long enough, you can put them in jail. Nuge, be on your best behavior, a multitude of folks would love to drop a hammer on you!

  • Mrl

    Richard Wyatt was another one with a God complex. You know he ran the show and his business. He was so upset when his son wanted to do something different. Let’s see if Smith & Wesson drops his named .38 J frame revolver now.

  • Mrl

    I wonder if the women in his family are going to have to give back their enhancements now?

  • B. Young

    Liked the show. After a few episodes I thought if that crew could do it, so could I, or anybody for that matter… But now I see they weren’t doing anything– legal. I remember they’re gunsmithing was a lot of “never done it before, but we’ll try it ” type gunsmithing. They also did much much more buying than selling. Weird family dynamic that leads to “do anything to get ME, my daughter, son, wife, son-in-law, whoever paid”. Seen it happen many times, there’s probably a technical psychiatric term for such businesses/people.

  • Tom Currie

    I suppose that the government did a lot of investigating and spent at least several hundred thousand dollars worth of time by trained investigators and forensic accountants making their case. But they could just as easily have simply had the jury watch tapes of the show to get convictions on dozens of felony counts if the jury would have believed what they saw in tapes of the show.

    Both Discovery Channel series were rife with all sorts of legally impossible nonsense, such as sale and transfer of Class III firearms on the spot. Of the two shows, American Guns presented fewer legally questionable transactions on the air, but far more instances of naive customers being talked into ridiculously overpriced custom work.

    Bottom line, I strongly suspect that both casts were selected largely by reason of having a hot female family member who could be shown in a tight or low-cut top in each episode.

    • the thing is when they did the transfers a period of time had passed and odds are the atf sped up the approval. you just didn’t see all the paperwork being done and set up. They often don’t state on such shows the passage of time for events in the same episode. Sometimes it is weeks or months later.

  • Joshua

    If the show was anygood I might care, but as has been the case with all the shows of it’s type I have seen, it sucked.
    It was more concerned with “Drama” and “Danger” than with the subject material

  • DanGoodShot

    These people were selected by the networks, who fully well knew they had problems. The networks did background checks and knew what these people were about. Clearly they chose them hoping to help damage the image of the gun community. Plain and simple. There is no conspiracy here. It couldn’t be more obvious at this point. Seriously. What are the odds. A bookie in Vegas wouldn’t even touch that.

  • Cymond

    I’m stunned that anyone operating an unlicensed gun shop would be stupid enough to go on cable TV.

    I mean, seriously, how did they think ATF wouldn’t notice?

  • Pandaz3

    I bought a S&W Performance Center 637 revolver at the local gun store at a discount. It was the “Gunsmoke” edition, has a matte Stainless cylinder with bright polished flutes. Bobbed hammer and ‘Gunsmoke’ logo on the barrel. Very nice gun. I got it soon after the show was cancelled.

  • Mike Vee

    Having a hot daughter and milf wife doesn’t mean you won’t get caught. Idiot.

  • Devil_Doc

    God, this show annoyed me.

  • James Wegman

    How long before the divorce?

  • HAHA73

    Hey, keep Bat Boy outta this!

  • The really stupid part of the whole thing is that if he had done the paperwork properly and paid his taxes, they would’ve had no case. All he had to do was “sell” the shop to the license holder and stay on as management with his payment for the initial sale of the shop being paid from the store’s revenues. He could be paid a percentage of profits in lieu of a salary and it would’ve all been legal. Virtually nothing would’ve been different except that he would’ve had taxes taken out and gotten a W-2 at the end of the year.

  • Beachhawk

    I enjoyed watching Red Jacket until it became a soap opera. I was still shocked when Will Hayden was arrested for child molestation. I also liked American Guns. Richard Wyatt seemed to head an all American family and operate an interesting and legitimate business. I guess I was taken in by both Hayden and Wyatt. It’s sad that the networks could only find two gun businesses, both of which were operated by men of poor character, when there are literally thousands operated by honorable and patriotic men and women

  • sidpits

    Wait,you’re saying Bat Boy isn’t real? Damn!