Convicted Felon Arrested After Allegedly Shooting Firearm On Reality TV Show

By Darren Smith, Weekend Blogger

Tyler SmithFelon Tyler Smith of Buckley, Washington has the opportunity to have his fifteen minutes of fame and his day in court.

Tyler pleaded guilty in 2009 to Felony Communication with a Minor for Immoral Purposes and to Theft in the First Degree. As a convicted felon, he is under Washington law prohibited from possessing firearms. He also is required to register as a sex offender.

Tyler recently appeared on the National Geographic reality show Doomsday Preppers in November of 2013 where he proclaimed his survivalist prowess and that he would engage in “marauding” by robbing people of high powered rifles and their provisions claiming that he would take it from his neighbors by force.” He was also alleged to have stated on the show: “We’re not in it to stockpile. We’re in it to take what you have and there’s nothing you can do to stop us. We are your worst nightmare, and we are coming.”

Among other bizarre claims he made he stated he also said he had a map of places he can rob and studied survivalist medicine, including how to perform a cesarean section on his wife. During the show he loaded a firearm and began shooting as well testing a homemade bullet-proof suit by having his cousin shoot chest with a shotgun.

Apparently this bravado caught the concern of many who contacted the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office that has been investigating Tyler since his appearance. His neighbors were also worried about his activities and spoke with reporters and the sheriff’s office.

National Geographic released a statement that read: “We are aware of the arrest, and have decided not to air this episode until all legal matters are sorted out.”

Deputies contacted Tyler at his residence and arrested him on probable cause for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender. Reports indicate he will be also charged with two counts of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in the Second Degree, a Class C Felony carrying a potential five year prison sentence.

Reports are that there might be an additional appearance for Tyler, this time in U.S. District Court. Federal law enforcement is looking also into possible violations of federal law.

Sources:
KING5 News
The News Tribune
National Geographic Channel
RCW 9.68a.090
RCW 9.41.040(2)(a)

Darren Smith, Weekend Blogger
The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility

20 thoughts on “Convicted Felon Arrested After Allegedly Shooting Firearm On Reality TV Show

  1. It’s worrisome to me that people keep talking about keeping guns away from the “mentally ill”. As far as I’m concerned anyone who focuses on gun use for any reason is mentally ill. Whereas someone who has a history of depression or obsessive behavior might need a gun for defense from such neighbors as this guy.

  2. @rafflaw “Stupid is as stupid does! National Geographic ought to be ashamed!”

    Maybe they performed a public service by bringing this guy to the attention of LE.

  3. Glad to hear that they finally decided to enforce our guns laws that we have. Too bad that most LEOs don’t bother with such trivial arrests. It makes a mockery of the few gun laws we have and that at the very least we need to enforce the ones that are on the books before we add more.

  4. Doglover: So professional competitive shooters are mentally ill? Collectors? People who just like to go to the range? There’s a lot of idiocy in gun culture, but statements like yours show it goes both ways.

  5. How do we know this guy was “in possession” of a firearm? Did he own it? Or does the law simply mean he can never touch one? Vague wordings are great for the state, aren’t they?

  6. jude

    if you pick one up, you are in possession. it’s kinda like possession of marijuana, if it’s in your hand, it don’t matter who “owns” it.

  7. Jude:

    Here is the law:

    RCW 9.41.040
    Unlawful possession of firearms — Ownership, possession by certain persons — Restoration of right to possess — Penalties.

    (1)(a) A person, whether an adult or juvenile, is guilty of the crime of unlawful possession of a firearm in the first degree, if the person owns, has in his or her possession, or has in his or her control any firearm after having previously been convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity in this state or elsewhere of any serious offense as defined in this chapter.

    Washingtonlaw declares “possession” to include having something under their control, usage, or intentional storage. The act of using a firearm by discharging it is sufficiant to meet the possession element of the crime.

    There are two methods of possession. Actual, meaning simply it is on one’s person or in their hands and Constructive meaning it is located in a place where the suspect controls such as within their house, property, or vehicle.

    Washington’s courts have limited the scope of possesion in some ways. I don’t have the case name but one dealing with this issue was a case where a burglar entered a dwelling and moved a firearm that was blocking his movement and leaned it against a piece of furniture, meaning a trivial amount of possession. This would have made the crime a First Degree Burglary due to the suspect having possessed a firearm while in the commission thereof. This would make it a more serious offense. The court struck down the possession of the firearm element.

    The courts are not going to rule that in this case the possession was not made due to him having to substantially possess the firearm in order to discharge it. In this state owning the firearm is not all that is required.

  8. Jude:

    Another thing since you were curious about the case. If I was investigating this case I would want to make sure each of these elements were satisfied in order to have probable cause to arrest a person accused of a crime as described: (Some might seem odd but one has to cover all tracks to have a solid case)

    The event (the shooting of the firearm) happened in my jurisdiction
    The event happened after the felony conviction
    The event happened before the statute of limitations expired.
    A witness will testify under oath for having witnessed the offense (not necessary but good to have)
    The shooter is positively identified as the accused
    The shooter is not on active duty with the military
    The shooter was not coerced into possessing the firearm
    The recording was true and unaltered from its significant content.
    The shooter has not had his firearms rights restored by the Superior Court

    Other issues readers here might find interesting is under Washington law each firearm possessed is a seperate offense so if a person has 10 illegally possessed firearms 10 counts apply (not aggregated into one count). Also on the federal level persons convicted of violent offenses (and a few others) are not only prohibited on the federal level from possession firearms but ammunition and body armor as well. Which is why I laughed when I first read that the he was accused of making the homemade body armor since I knew that might cause him another headache with the feds.

  9. Let’s not forget the usable part of that looney’s proclamations.

    In a collapse of social order there will be people like that who will do what he said.

    During civil times when civilization is purring along just fine, the banksters, corporate crooks, and crooked politicians are the ones doing it to us.

  10. Hopefully all of the gun shy folks here weren’t in Vegas this past week. It was the sport and gun show. Lots of NRA t-shirts seen.

  11. I think this article hits the nail on the head of why it is so important to think twice about what you are saying and doing before committing it to tape. With a little more discretion, he wouldn’t have given them enough information to show even probable cause. However, I see a major issue with a case going forward – the government’s biggest problem is going to be proving that the event occurred at a specific time and a specific place with enough specificity to establish jurisdiction to prosecute. That may require the producers and staff of the show to testify against Mr. Smith, which could present a whole another host of issues for National Geographic (for example – did they know about his felony record?) and have a chilling effect on their ability to make future programming.

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