Feds raid Gibson Guitar Corp. in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Federal agents raided the Gibson Guitar Corporation in Nashville Wednesday morning.

Authorities have yet to release details as to why the facility on Massman Drive off Elm Hill Pike was raided although it’s believed to be related to a raid at the same facility in November 2009 for possible violations of the Lacey Act.

The Lacey Act is a federal environmental law that prohibits importing endangered plants and wildlife. It was amended in 2009 to also include wood products.

During the raid in 2009, federal agents seized materials, files and computers from the plant on allegations that a rare ebony wood from Madagascar was illegally used at the factory.

No charges were ever filed

Wednesday morning, several hundred employees at the facility were first evacuated.

“We were just in our department and one of the supervisors just come in and said everybody get out and we just shut the machines off and headed out the door,” one employee who did want to be identified said.

They were later told to go home after being allowed to reenter the building to collect their belongings.

The Gibson Guitar facility in Memphis was also raided by federal authorities Wednesday morning.

Agents with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service remained on the scene in Nashville Wednesday afternoon.

Nashville’s News 2 tried numerous times to reach Gibson Guitar for comment, but our calls were not returned.

It is unknown if workers will return to on Thursday.


0 thoughts on “Feds raid Gibson Guitar Corp. in Nashville

  1. Henry,
    Look on the bright side!

    Thank heaven we have these agencies to protect us from the possibility of unknowingly violating the obscure and convoluted laws of other countries! Otherwise imagine the wanton pillage of the earth’s resources that vicious self serving domestically based American businesses might be capable of. Boy! I feel so safe and secure knowing that we have these wonderful American patriots working tirelessly round the clock to protect us from these horrible people! We should probably just close all these out of date domestic businesses down…after all…why would any musician want a Gibson product when they can just buy a Yamaha and know they are getting a total piece of unplayable crap? Why should these people be allowed to use ebony? Wouldn’t poly carbonite or some sort of plastic be better? Maybe this is part of the agenda to help increase employment by breaking old entrenched, outdated manufacturing habits and we are just too unsophisticated to understand it because on the surface it seems to have the opposite effect.

    Yeah…that must be it.

      1. Yeah, buddy….we got us a runaway train! Looks like a perfectly choreographed play with laser shots strategically aimed. The pen is only mightier than the sword if it spurs action and those in a position to push back just seem to be mysteriously absent and silent. No way is this about wood. What’s that….two or three trees? Henry is dead on target about the legal system and so are you on where this is headed.

        I’ll get my legal team on it right away! Oh…forgot..I don’t HAVE one…in fact I don’t even have a job anymore. Maybe I’ll apply at Gibson….oh…not the best idea I guess….probably not hiring right now.

        Maybe I’ll just dress up like Mighty Mouse and go stand on a street corner ’till they put me in a padded cell and a straight jacket! Geez!
        Nah…not yet. What in God’s name are we witnessing here, Mark?

        1. I’ll let you know after Irene wipes out the East Coast. Nobody, and I mean nobody, has talked about the danger to the nuclear reactors yet.

          1. I play an American made Fender Stratocastor because Gibson makes 1960 Les Paul Standard Reissues, which they normally would charge $ 5,000.00 for, which is still way over priced, name it after Eric Clapton, and charge $ 18,000.00 ! They are part of the corporate mafia, believe me. I went through 3 of the 5,000 models 3 years ago, ( trading in one piece of shit for the next one. ) and all 3 of them were crap. For $5,000.00 ! I traded the last one in for my $ 1,100.00 Strat and have never looked back. I will never buy a New Gibson again !

          2. Clark,

            Yes. The integrity of the product is nowhere near what was. I never cared for their acoustics much. The blue ridge used to be pretty good and the J200 can be exceptional if you find an old one. I had a ’65 ES335 and a ’67 ES 355. That’s when they really built guitars.

            But I think that, regardless of the present culture of the company this whole thing of our own government raiding a US company with armed agents and literally closing the place down is beyond ridiculous. It is highly alarming. Frightening actually. It seems there must be more to this than is visible on the surface. It’s just mind boggling.

  2. You’re right, Brian. Just because Gibson’s quality has gone down and their prices have gone up, I didn’t mean to imply I was siding Federal Gestapo for raiding their factories, even though it kinda sounded that way. ES335’s are damn fine guitars, by the way.

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