Gibson Commemorates Fed Raid with Government Series II Les Paul

Two years after Gibson factories in Tennessee were raided by
government agents, the venerable guitar manufacturer has released a
special Government Series II Les Paul. As the
press release explains

Great Gibson electric guitars have long been a means of
fighting the establishment, so when the powers that be confiscated
stocks of tonewoods from the Gibson factory in Nashville—only to
return them once there was a resolution and the investigation
ended—it was an event worth celebrating. Introducing the Government
Series II Les Paul, a striking new guitar from Gibson USA for 2014
that suitably marks this infamous time in Gibson’s

…Each Government Series II Les Paul also includes a
genuine piece of Gibson USA history in its solid rosewood
fingerboard, which is made from wood returned to Gibson by the US
government after the resolution. 

Reason TV reported on the Gibson case back in 2012. Original
text from February 23, 2012 video is below. 

“They…come in with weapons, they seized a
half-million dollars worth of property, they shut our factory down,
and they have not charged us with anything,” says Gibson Guitars CEO
Henry Juszkiewicz, referring to the August 2011 raid on his
Nashville and Memphis factories by agents from the Departments of
Homeland Security and Fish & Wildlife.

The feds raided Gibson for using an inappropriate
tariff code on wood from India, which is a violation of
the anti-trafficking statute known as The Lacey Act. At issue is
not whether the wood in question was endangered, but whether the
wood was the correct level of thickness and finish before
being exported from India. “India is wanting to ensure that raw
wood is not exported without some labor content from India,” says

Andrea Johnson of the Environmental Investigation Agency
 counters that “it’s not up to Gibson to decide which
laws…they want to respect.” She points out that Gibson had
previously been raided under The Lacey Act for imports from

This much is clear: The government
has yet to file any charges or allow Gibson a day in court to
makes its case, much less retrieve its materials. “This is not
about responsible forestry and sustainable wood or illegal logging,
this is about a bureaucratic law,” argues Juszkiewicz, who
testified last year before a congressional hearing convened by
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). It is, he says, ”a blank check for

About 6 minutes.

from Hit & Run

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.