In 2011, Gibson Guitar, an icon in American music, became the federal government’s victim. In what some have called an excessive and unwarranted raid, federal authorities descended on the Nashville manufacturer with guns drawn.
“I got a call that Homeland Security was raiding our factory and at first I thought it was a joke. And it wasn’t a joke. People at the factory seemed very panicked, so I very quickly rushed to the factory to find out what was actually happening,” said Henry Juskiewicz, CEO, Gibson Guitar.
“When I got there, there were people in SWAT attire that evacuated our entire factory,” explains Juskiewicz.
Why was Gibson Guitar raided? According to federal prosecutors, the company violated the Lacey Act. According to Andrew Grossman, an attorney with BakerHostetler and a constitutional law expert, the Lacey Act is a 100-year old statute that’s “recently been expanded to incorporate the foreign law of every country in the world regarding endangered species.”
“The government’s position is that Gibson had imported pieces of wood from India that hadn’t been finished within India,” explains Grossman. “Under India law, arguably, that would be a violation of their law because India prefers that products be finished in India.”
Grossman says the raid on Gibson is an example of government run amok.
Watch this video to learn more.