Months Later And Still No Federal Charges Against Gibson Guitars

Months ago the armed federal agents from the Department of Homeland Security and the Fish & Wildlife Service raided a factory owned by the famous Gibson Guitar company, shutting it down and seizing some half a million dollars worth of product. What had Gibson done to inspire the raid? They allegedly used the wrong tariff code on wood imported from India. The wood was possibly not the correct level of thickness and finish, something required by India so that wood exported from that country is first worked on by Indian laborers.

Yet, months after the raid, there have been no charges filed by the federal government. has a report:

A raid by armed agents, costing the company millions in seized product and lost production, all over a trivial trade regulation for which no actual charges have been filed.

This is a portrait of a government that is too large and powerful for its own good. What’s even more troubling is that the law being applied here, the Lacey Act, could require anyone traveling with a guitar made of imported woods to disclose the origin of every wood in that guitar.

Now, the feds say in the video that they have no intention of enforcing the law against individuals, but is the government picking and choosing when the law applies really any better?

Rob Port

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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