The tension between Gibson Guitars and the government reaches new heights with the Nashville and Memphis Tennessee raid in late August and Gibson`s petition for the amendment of the Lacey Act.
Gibson Guitars issue an official statement following the U.S. government raid on their facilities on August the 24th. They also made a petition for the amendment of the Lacey Act, which stipulates the conditions on the wood import.
On Wednesday, August 24th, 2011, four search warrants were executed on Gibson Guitar`s facilities in Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee. Several pallets of wood, some electronic files and guitars were seized. Production was stopped for the day and workers sent home, while the agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service executed the search warrants for ebony and rosewood that was imported from India.
Allegations say that Gibson violated the Lacey Act, which regulates that a company which imports wood must do so in accordance with the laws of the country from which the wood is imported. Gibson complied with Indian laws and no concerns have been raised by the Indian government.
“Agents seized wood that was Forest Stewardship Council controlled,” Gibson Guitar Chairman and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz said. “Gibson has a long history of supporting sustainable and responsible sources of wood and has worked diligently with entities such as the Rainforest Alliance and Greenpeace to secure FSC-certified supplies. The wood seized on August 24 satisfied FSC standards.”
This was the second raid by the U.S. government, the first one was in 2009, but still no charges have been filed, even though the seized material is still in the possession of the authorities.
Gibson Guitars are reaching out to all Gibson fans, dealers, artists, musicians, to all bloggers, politicians and all those who love guitars to sign the petition. Petition will demand:
• The current investigation of Gibson will be stopped and brought to a fair and conclusive settlement
• The Lacey Act will be amended to provide clear guidance on how corporations can comply
• Consumers will not be prosecuted for owning or transporting instruments for their own use
Gibson Guitars CEO Henry Juszkiewicz said that Gibson is innocent and will fight to prove their innocence.
Chorder.com supports Gibson Guitars. Sign the petition here.