As many of you might have heard, Gibson’s guitar plants in Memphis & Nashville were raided last week by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and US Customs for possible violations of the Lacey Act, which is an environmental regulation that prohibits the import of specific species of wood from country’s with regulations against the export of those materials. This has obviously raised quite a stir in the music community. Gibson denies any wrong doing, and it is unsure what it is going to happen to the world-renowned instrument company as the case unfolds. This is not the first time that Gibson has faced trouble over possible use of illegal wood. The Nashville facility was raided in 2009, and officials still have not closed that case. The Justice Department is not commenting on any of the raids at this point.
Numerous outlets are discussing what this might mean for Gibson, guitar shops, and, even, Gibson owners. Some sources are saying that musicians with a guitar made from this illegal wood could face hardships when trying to enter the United States. I did some research this morning, and have amassed some of the articles that have been written. Murfreesboro band, Static Revival was one of the first to blog about the situation, and offers a clip of Gibson CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, statement to the press. The Wall Street Journal has a pretty good summary of events to date. NPR News did an All Things Considered segment about why the feds seem to be targeting Gibson (you can read and listen to the radio segment online).
I am sure that more information about this will come out in the coming months, and we’ll be watching for updates.