Yesterday federal agents raided the guitar manufacturer with little explanation to the media about the cause, today Gibson tells its side of the story.
Excerpt from Gibson Guitar Corp.’s official press release:
The Justice department bullies Gibson without filing charges
The Federal Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. has suggested that the use of wood from India that is not finished by Indian workers is illegal, not because of U.S. law, but because it is the Justice Department’s interpretation of a law in India. (If the same wood from the same tree was finished by Indian workers, the material would be legal.) This action was taken without the support and consent of the government in India.
On August 24, 2011, around 8:45 a.m. CDT, agents for the federal government executed four search warrants on Gibson’s facilities in Nashville and Memphis and seized several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. Gibson had to cease its manufacturing operations and send workers home for the day, while armed agents executed the search warrants. Gibson has fully cooperated with the execution of the search warrants.
• Raid shut down Gibson factories and cost company money
• Nearly two years later, no charges have been filed
• Wood seized was Forest Stewardship Council Controlled
The wood the Government seized on August 24 is from a Forest Stewardship Council certified supplier and is FSC Controlled, meaning that the wood complies with the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council, which is an industry-recognized and independent, not-for-profit organization established to promote responsible management of the world’s forests. Gibson has a long history of supporting sustainable and responsible sources of wood and has worked diligently with entities such as the Rainforest Alliance and Greenpeace to secure FSC certified supplies.