Stephanie Hayden is an American TV personality and firearms expert, born on 22 December 1984, in Louisiana, USA. She’s known for appearing in the reality TV series “Sons of Guns”.
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Stephanie Marie Hayden is the only daughter resulting from Will and Rachel Hayden’s marriage. From an early age Stephanie developed an interest in horseback riding, and climbing. Thanks to her father’s influence, in her teens she started learning about firearms and there usage, becoming her biggest life passion along with hunting.
There’s no information about Stephanie’s childhood, relationship with parents and education, though she supposedly didn’t attend college as she joined her father’s custom arms store at 18 years old.
Stephanie’s parents divorced at some point of her youth, though their date of separation isn’t known.
In 2002 Stephanie Hayden started working as the manager in Red Jacket Firearms Inc, a store dedicated to selling custom-created weapons to security forces and businesses. The store was found in 1999 by Stephanie’s father and former commissioner officer Will Hayden. As the shop turned out to be successful since its beginning, Will sold his other, refrigeration business, to devote his entire attention to his new company.
Despite its success, Red Jacket Firearms faced various legal problems.
In 2009 the shop couldn’t account for ten arms registered on their database, according to an inspection made by ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms); this led Stephanie and Will Hayden to give up their licenses as gun-makers.
Red Jacket Inc’s attorney declared the firearms missing weren’t misplaced, instead two of them were stolen and the rest were thrown away due to several errors committed by the shop’s gunsmiths. However, due to Hayden not keeping track of arms’ serial numbers following Law requirements, the store was ultimately shut down.
This didn’t deter Stephanie and her father, as they promptly started a new business – Red Jacket Firearms, L.L.C. However, this new company wasn’t under Will Hayden’s name, and was instead Vincent Buckles, registered as a ‘confidential business decision’.
TV Debut – Sons of Guns
Stephanie Hayden debuted on TV when the series “Sons of Guns” premiered in 2011. The show centers on Stephanie’s father’s shop Red Jacket Firearms, L.L.C, featuring its customers and gunsmiths. Red Jacket not only produces firearms, but also sells weapons such as swords, knives and cannons. The show was characterized for warning viewers to not try scenes displayed in it. In addition, no specific details of production and modification of guns were presented.
“Sons of Guns” aired for five seasons until its cancelation in 2014, when Will Hayden was accused of sexually abusing a minor.
In regards of this scandal, Discovery Channel declared: ‘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’.
Records of the series in networks’ website were deleted, including episode availability. Despite this, Stephanie denied rumors of cancellation on a post in her official Facebook.
Red Jacket distanced itself from Hayden’s scandal, as a statement posted on their official website said: ‘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’.
There’s no information about Red Jacket’s present circumstances, though its website is currently inactive.
Sexual Abuse Allegations
Will Hayden sexual abuse allegations were made by his younger daughter, who was 12 years old at the time. The teen girl declared that Will raped her from when she was 11 years old, receiving threats on his part if she reported him to authorities.
Hayden negated the veracity of allegations against him, declaring his ex-girlfriend and mother of the girl were taking retaliation for the end of their relationship. Hayden was arrested by East Baton Rouge’s Sheriff in August 2014, though he was released later after paying a bond set at $150,000.
Initially Stephanie Hayden defended her father: ‘There was never any impropriety in our home. He was and is a good father’. However in an interview with Dr. Phil, Stephanie confessed that she was sexually assaulted by her father as well, in an incident occurring when she was 12 years old. Allegedly, drunken Will Hayden entered her bedroom, proceeding to forcibly touch her inappropriately: ‘He continued to proceed to kiss on my chest. Once that happened I jumped back and he just left and he never touched me again like that’.
Her father’s actions caused young Stephanie to be extremely fearful of him, constantly carrying knives with her for self-defense.
Accusations were dismissed by Will’s lawyer, who accused Stephanie of lying: ‘After 45 shows and 20 years, this is the first I’ve heard of it. Her complaints arose only after her income from the show and (gun) shop stopped. She’s still Will’s daughter and he loves her.’
In 2017 Will Hayden was found guilty of aggravated rape, and is set to spend three life sentences plus 40 years in jail for his crimes.
Stephanie Hayden has been married in two occasions. Her first husband was William Scott, with whom she had a son in 2005. The couple filed for divorce for reasons unknown in the late 2000’s.
In 2008 Stephanie met Kris Ford, who was looking for a job at the time. Although he was an experienced hunter and his family owned a gun shop, Ford had never been too interested in arms. Despite this, he accepted Hayden‘s offer to work at Red Jacket Firearms. He started as a sweeper in the shop, but soon found himself in a better position thanks to his increasing fascination with firearms.
Ford and Hayden were on friendly terms at first, though they soon fell in love and started a romantic relationship. Although the couple married in 2011 and had a son together, their marriage was short-lived as they filed for divorce; the exact date of separation and details of it are undisclosed.
Nowadays, Ford works in his family gun-shop Fords Firearms, and is dating a woman named Kayla Nelson.
Assault of Minor
In 2014 Kris Ford was accused of assaulting Hayden’s son with ex-husband William Scott. Following Scott’s allegations, Kris Ford hit his nine years old with a leather belt while Stephanie was in the room. Both Ford and Hayden were arrested for cruelty to juveniles, though further information about the case is unknown.
As a result of her appearances in “Sons of Guns” and her work as firearm specialist, Stephanie Hayden’s estimated net worth is over $500,000 as of mid-2020.
Stephanie is a woman of white ethnicity, who has light brown eyes and black hair. Her vital statistics are unknown.
Stephanie fainted after her interview with Dr. Phil.
She was arrested only a few months after his father’s imprisonment.
Red Jacket Firearms’ staff member Joe Meaux, strongly supported Stephanie on her allegations against her father for sexual abuse: ‘I am going to be as helpful as I can because she needs that support and needs that room. I am fully behind her. I want to give my support to the people that have been damaged by Will. Especially the young ladies, they have had something taken from them that is irreplaceable.’
Stephanie Hayden’s official Instagram has not been updated since April 2015.