Federal Agents Raid Gibson Guitar Factory. Musicians Fear They Could Be Next
Suspecting use of restricted forest product, Federal agents raided Gibson Guitar factories and offices in Memphis and Nashville this week seizing pallets of wood, files and guitars. In a statement, Gibson's CEO, Henry Juszkiewic fired back, "The wood the government seized Wednesday is from a Forest Stewardship Council certified supplier." Many musicians who play vintage guitars and other instruments made of environmentally protected wood are also concerned that the Feds may be coming for them next.
Laws governing use of banned woods can be confusing, according to some experts. "Even if you have no knowledge—despite Herculean efforts to obtain it—that some piece of your guitar, no matter how small, was obtained illegally, you lose your guitar forever," John Thomas, a law professor at Quinnipiac University and a blues and ragtime guitarist told the Wall Street Journal. "Oh, and you'll be fined $250 for that false (or missing) information in your Lacey Act Import Declaration.