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  • Gibson Guitar Targeted as the Lacey Act Falls Flat in Nashville

    In recent months, the U.S. government has dispatched heavily armed federal law enforcement officers to raid Gibson Guitar factories—American guitar factories!—in Tennessee for violations of the Lacey Act, a federal statute that makes it a crime to import some tropical hardwoods in violation of foreign laws.

    Condemning this “overreach” by the feds, Gibson chairman and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz, reported that “armed people came in our factory…evacuated our employees, then seized half a million dollars of our goods without any charges having been filed.” In total, U.S. government agents have seized more than $1 million of rosewood, ebony, and finished guitars from Gibson factories in Memphis and Nashville in raids in 2009 and August 2011, Juszkiewicz said.

    Welcome to 21st-century green protectionism, Obama Administration–style.

    And apparently not just protectionism but green cronyism is afoot, too, since other reports indicate that the Obama Administration is enforcing the Lacey Act in an arbitrary and selective manner.

    John Hinderaker reports on the Powerline blog that “Juszkiewicz is a Republican donor, while the CEO of one of his principal competitors, C. F. Martin and Company, is a Democratic donor.” Martin reportedly uses the same wood, but Justice Department hasn’t raided them, leading to speculation that the Obama Administration is sending a warning to Republican businessmen that they had better not oppose his re-election lest they face criminal investigations.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    18 Responses to Gibson Guitar Targeted as the Lacey Act Falls Flat in Nashville

    1. steve h says:

      The law is the law. Why doesn't Heritage write about all the raids done on medical marijuana distributors, where the state has legalized it – where's the outrage on overreach there?

      Not our fault that the folks at Gibson are too incompetent to read the laws and abide by them. Enough of the coproate welfare nanny state. Not our duty to hold their hands through everything, they should be smart enough to know the rules.

      • DonnaL says:

        Hey, Idiot, didn't you read that the DEMOCRATIC DONOR didn't get raided?!! Using the same materials? Really, are you that blind of a liberal sheep not to get what's going on?

      • Susan h says:

        If Martin uses the same wood, is the law different for them? Government needs to get the heck out of our lives and let us run our own lives! Despite what the Bamster says, we don't need the GOVERNMENT wiping our noses for us. People need to take responsibility for themselves, not go running to the government everytime something happens in their lives to see what they're supposed to do. People are just getting dumber and dumber and they seem to like it that way. You're responsible for your life and how it turns out . . . not the government!

      • Micheal says:

        Sound like sour grapes over losing your stash. Why take it out on Gibson?

      • AD-RtR/OS! says:

        Since the wood Gibson imported from India was properly export-licensed by the Gov't of India, what gives the U.S.Gov't the right to overrule India on how its' laws are interpreted?
        Gibson abided by the laws of India, who has no complaint over Gibson's conduct;
        why should you?

      • Ern says:

        Are you familiar with the Lacey Act at all?
        Are you familiar with this case at all?
        There were NO laws broken in this case, foreign or domestic. All this amounts to is obama's punishing companies for donating to conservative causes.
        Get your head out of the marijuana cloud and look at what is clearly in front of you.

      • John says:

        You're right. The law is the law. Federal law says use of marijuana is illegal, medical or not. State law cannot supersede federal law.
        Gibson on the other hand was legally importing wood for their products. They had all of the proper documents and proof from the exporting companies that proper protocol was followed. Why wasn't C.F. Martin raided for the same infractions? Gibson had imported the same wood for years without incident.

    2. Bobbie says:

      Isn't that funny, Mr. President? Armed government tax over paid employees seizing the peaceful employment industry of Gibson? Going out of their tax over paid way to establish fear in the law abiding? Neglecting protocol and abusing authority, pressing accusations of no significance? And then isn't it funny, Joe Biden threatens to decrease law enforcement to compromise our everyday safety if you don't get your way with your outrageous, more costs than benefits, more work than worth, job's bill? Isn't it funny? Your priorities? Your unlawful acts at limitless tax payers costs are higher priority then your vowed duty you deceive to desperately beg more money for!? wow!!

    3. Fed up with the Fed says:

      What do you expect? It is the Chicago way….if you bring a knife, Obama brings a gun.

    4. mccnumber2son says:

      Gee, 107 years of instrument making and Steve H decided they're incompetent? Steve, learn to drive by those medical pot shops without stopping and you'll be able to clearly understand why Gibson makes the best stringed instruments in the USA. Fact #1- no US law was violated. Fact #2- Madagascar & India formally notified the feds that their export laws were not broken. Fact #3- C.F Martin & Taylor Guitars are Democrat contributors – what a surprise, no hassles ! I heard Taylor is designing the Teleprompter model guitar for Obama: it's called The Teleprompter. Costs a fortune, no talent needed, millions of strings attached and accepts cash through the soundhole.

    5. Elmer says:

      The feds are taking over the business world, and we have a dumb president to thank for that.I don't wish him harm, but if he fell dead today,I wouldn't cry.

    6. Charlie Johns says:

      Is it not amazing that the Feds can raid,abuse,threaten,and destroy any American company or citizen that dares to practice Capitalisim, but fail so miserbly at illegal immigration, Health Care, the economy, tax reform,balanced budget,foreign affairs,education, and on and on. But ,no,the Feds refuse to tackle the true pressing problems of this nation, and we as taxpayers will continue to suffer the consequence's. If you are registered to vote, pleases do so.It is the only way to change from a communist state that we are currently in,back to a nation of freedom.

    7. June says:

      Just remember, this is what will happen to anyone who doesnt adhere to the "left"s agenda. Wonderful world when we fear our eleted government.

    8. rocky says:

      wonder how long it will take before law enforcement will refuse to follow unjust directives

    9. Flood says:

      It makes me angry to see that Gibson has stopped production of rosewood and ebony fretboards for their guitars. I am a proud owner of the Les Paul. I am keeping it for life and I am not voting for President Obama again. I am voting him out. Gibson is a legend in the music world and it is the Harley Davidson when it comes to guitars. I would love to sue this administration for treating Gibson as separate but equal. As far I understand is that it is against the law to treat others as if they were equal and separate them from others who have better equality. This is called discrimination. Discrimination is a federal offense that this administration could be taken to federal court under a civil suit for a violation of someone’s civil rights.

    10. Dan says:

      @Flood I believe the term you are looking for is Equal Protection/ Due Process violation in the 5th Amendment.

    11. TT1 says:

      Obama is trying to destroy America. The Gibson thing is the tip of the iceburg.

    12. Kush says:

      Really? A half-million dollar seisure of goods when the company probably paid pennies on the dollar to have it? Oh and your right obama is destroying our country look at how many innocent lives have been lost in a war he fabricated???? Long live fender anyways.

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