‘Sons of Guns’ canceled? Will Hayden arrested on new sex charge

‘Sons of Guns’ canceled? Will Hayden arrested on new sex charge

"Sons of Guns" promo splash screen for Discovery Channel. Will Hayden, center. (Credit: Discovery Channel)

WASHINGTON, August 27, 2014 – Earlier this month, TMZ, the Washington Times, and others reported that “Sons of Guns” star Will Hayden, 44, had been arrested and booked in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana on charges of juvenile molestation. TMZ and Fox News have now reported that Hayden was arrested once again on August 26, this time on charges of aggravated rape.

Both arrests stem from a complaint that Hayden had molested his own child, an 11 year-old daughter by a former girlfriend.

Hayden claims the underlying charges are false and were made by his vindictive ex. He had earlier told Fox411 through his attorney that the charges had been brought as a result of an issue involving a former employee that had been fired by Red Jacket Firearms, Hayden’s own company.

After Hayden’s initial arrest, rumors flew that Discovery Channel, which airs “Sons of Guns,” was considering suspending or canceling the series. But his older daughter Stephanie Hayden Ford, who also stars on the show, quickly sought to dispel those rumors via her Facebook page where she wrote

“Guys the show is NOT cancelled! We so appreciate the outcry of injustice but [it’s] not true, I guess some [people] just need ratings… We are on a hold with filming while my family takes care of a few things. You guys are the best fans ever & we love you so much! Thank u for standing strong with us!”

But as of this afternoon, TMZ reports that the show has indeed been canceled, claiming to have received a statement from Discovery, which is headquartered just north of Washington, D.C. in Silver Spring, Maryland:

“Given the serious and horrific nature of the charges against Will Hayden, we have decided to halt further production of ‘Sons of Guns’ and cancel the series.”

Confirming the news, an online check this afternoon by this reporter found that all traces of “Sons of Guns” seem to have been meticulously scrubbed from Discovery’s web site.

Red Jacket Firearms LLC itself has formally terminated its relationship with Hayden, issuing a note on the company’s website today:

Red Jacket Firearms LLC. has initiated and received full legal separation as an entity, from William M. Hayden.


With heavy hearts, we will be continuing to operate and ensure the fulfillment of new customer orders, back orders and to provide support to those affected by these new developments. WE are the Heart and Soul of Red Jacket and will remain steadfast in our committment [sic] to quality and our customers, for years to come.

Hayden was the longtime owner of Red Jacket Firearms, a company dedicated to the design, building, rebuilding, purchase and sales of firearms, and was essentially Hayden’s co-star on the now-defunct Discovery Channel reality series which was set to begin its new season next month.

Hayden, of course, must be considered innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law. However, it’s a safe conclusion that after a successful five years, Discovery Channel’s “Sons of Guns” is done.

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Terry Ponick
Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17