On wednesday August 24, 2011 The Gibson Guitar Factory was raided by Federal Agents claiming Gibson had participated in “purchasing illegally harvested wood.” Gibson’s CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, defended his policies. He accused the Justice Department of aggressive law techniques. “The wood the government seized Wednesday is from a Forest Stewardship Council certified supplier,” he said, suggesting the Feds are using the aggressive enforcement of overly broad laws.
The debate, and scary part of this raid is that if your a vintage guitar owner, you could also be scrutinized while travelling abroad. This makes it very scary to travel with vintage instruments that may have used this wood before it was illegal. You have to be very careful to document your guitar’s age, or else risk losing it to law enforcement at the border.
Quote from Gibson’s website:
Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar Corp., has responded to the August 24 raid of Gibson facilities in Nashville and Memphis by the Federal Government. In a press release, Juszkiewicz said: “Gibson is innocent and will fight to protect its rights. Gibson has complied with foreign laws and believes it is innocent of ANY wrong doing. We will fight aggressively to prove our innocence.”