On March 8, 2018, it was announced that the owner of Gunsmoke in Wheat Ridge, Colorado had been sentenced to prison for conspiracy to deal in firearms without a license and tax fraud. 54-year-old Richard Wyatt of Evergreen, Colorado was sentenced to 78 months in prison and three years of supervised release. The court concluded that 490 firearms were involved in the commission of Wyatt’s crimes. Those firearms were ordered forfeited.
The indictment and evidence presented at trial showed that Wyatt ran a store, Gunsmoke, in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. The store sold firearms and firearms accessories. The defendant was the principal decision marker and controlled the store’s bank account. The store also provided gunsmithing services. The defendant publicized his business through YouTube and by appearing on a television services on the Discovery Channel.
The reality television show aired from 2011 through 2012 and featured 26 episodes. In April of 2012, the defendant surrendered Gunsmoke’s federal firearms license due to violations of federal laws and regulations. After its license was suspended, Gunsmoke changed the address of the license of another store, Triggers Firearms, to the Gunsmoke address. Then, Wyatt continued running Gunsmoke as a retail firearms store with gunsmithing services. However, Wyatt never held ownership interest in Triggers and never managed the store.
Wyatt and other conspirators submitted false paperwork to the ATF to hide that Triggers was a straw licensee for Gunsmoke. Without a federal firearms license, Wyatt instructed employees to enter firearms sales into the computer as “miscellaneous”. After payment for firearms was received, customers were redirected to another store, which had a valid federal firearms license. There, customers filled out the background check and obtained the firearms they had purchased at Gunsmoke.
Customers who wanted gunsmithing services left their firearms at Gunsmoke. After the work at Gunsmoke was completed, the customers received their firearms back. The defendant continued ordering new guns despite not having a federal firearms license. The defendant was convicted of two counts of conspiracy of dealing in firearms without a license, filing a false tax return and multiple counts of failure to file after a three-week jury trial. Again, 54-year-old Richard Wyatt has been sentenced to 78 months in prison.
Further details can be found here.