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Old August 27, 2011, 01:50 PM   #26
pnac
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Actually, I gather the "endangered species" thing is conjecture on the CEO's part. He doesn't know what he's charged with because the Feds won't tell him!

I'm sure the Fed lawyers are working on a charge, however, it just takes time. Thus the stay they (the Feds) requested on their first court case against Gibson two years ago!
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Old August 27, 2011, 05:28 PM   #27
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Another thing that is in the WSJ, is the official notice of confiscation of money and items for ATF, IRS, and DEA. Last week there was over half a page of 9mm submachine guns with serial numbers that were taken by the Feds for some reason or another.

It reminds me of pirates the way they grab anything they want and you have to fight and spend money to get back your property.
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Old August 27, 2011, 08:07 PM   #28
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Apparently, the Lacey Act has been the law since the early 20th century but applied to animals and animal products. In 2008 it was expanded to include plants.

There is an FAQ page about the Lacey Act here: http://www.eia-global.org/lacey/P6.EIA.LaceyReport.pdf

According to this FAQ page, the term “'Illegally sourced' is defined by the content of sovereign nations’ own laws." In other words, it is the law of the other country that determines whether the wood is lawful or not. And, it doesn't have to be endangered or protected. A "log export ban" by the country of origin make the wood "illegally sourced." Gibson's CEO seems to think the latest raid is aimed at this since Gibson imports certain wood blanks and finishes them here.

A few points worth noting:

1. If you "knowingly" trade in a prohibited wood, it is a felony and up to $250,000 fine per individual or $500,000 per corporation.

2. An "unknowing" violation can be either: (a) a misdemeanor and fines of $100,000 individual/$200,000 corporation if the person did not engage in "due caution" or (b) if there was "due caution" used, forfeiture of goods.
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Old August 27, 2011, 08:38 PM   #29
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We are now subject to the laws of foreign countries????

Are you going to go to jail because you bought a Norinco made in China?

Why not? Chinese citizens are not allowed to own guns.

What about all those Winchesters made in Japan?

What if you drive your Japanese made car faster than the speed limit in Japan?

What about, what about, etc., etc., etc.

These “what if’s” might seem silly now but the “Indian rosewood” law sounds silly, also, and look at what happened to Gibson.

It’s a long list of countries we’re dealing with and the Feds are on it.

This could get, and probably will get, very serious.
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Old August 27, 2011, 08:48 PM   #30
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Well, I think it applies to plants (wood) and animal products (ivory) which are defined by the other country as being "illegally sourced."
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Old August 27, 2011, 08:59 PM   #31
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chicago style?

Not to get the thread off track, but one interesting thing not mentioned in the WSJ article is that the Gibson CEO is a known Republican contributor. The CEO of Martin, the main competitor of Gibson who uses pretty much the same wood stocks in their guitars, but hasn't been similarly raided, is a prominent Democratic contributor (big one too I believe). Wonder if there might be more news here yet.
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Old August 27, 2011, 09:24 PM   #32
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Here is my problem with the whole thing.

You have armed agents runing folks out of buildings for the sake of agreement with some foreign law. What the hell kinda justification are they going to have when someone gets killed over god 6@#%ed rose wood guitar necks. Whether by use of force on someone fed up and resisting or just an accident. Our governmet willing to hurt our citizens because India said the wood was illegal to sell in their own country.

Man my stomach turns just to think about it.

Last edited by teeroux; August 28, 2011 at 10:17 PM.
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Old August 28, 2011, 10:03 AM   #33
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The Philippines have a law banning the logging/cutting of certain trees. I happen to have those certain trees on my property. (I own a small coconut farm ) I want to remove these trees and use the wood for building a drying house. The paperwork involved in extremely complicated and costly.

I wonder if I would be subjected to a raid on my house here in the U.S. if I was caught with a spice rack made from a limb that fell off the tree? I may be wrong, but this seems to be what the federal government is alleging. Am I missing something?
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Old August 28, 2011, 11:24 AM   #34
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I wonder if I would be subjected to a raid on my house here in the U.S. if I was caught with a spice rack made from a limb that fell off the tree? I may be wrong, but this seems to be what the federal government is alleging. Am I missing something?
Killing or possession of endangered species is by permit only. It is like collecting bald eagle feathers from under a nest. Just because the limb isn't on the protected tree or the feather isn't on the bald eagle does not make the limb or feather no longer protected.
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Old August 28, 2011, 09:49 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy
It is like collecting bald eagle feathers from under a nest. Just because the limb isn't on the protected tree or the feather isn't on the bald eagle does not make the limb or feather no longer protected.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Dickens
The law is a ass, a idiot.
If someone can explain the logic of this law, I'll be hanged. The feather, which is neither eagle, nor part of an eagle, having been cast off as part of said eagle's natural life cycle, is an eagle. Similarly, the fallen limb, which is without qualification no longer part of the tree, is a tree.

Oh, yes, I get it. We can't know if that nefarious hiker found that eagle feather on the ground or throttled the eagle and all its young to acquire it, but sheesh! To paraphrase Cool Hand Luke, "sayin' it's the law, boss, don't make it right."
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Old August 28, 2011, 10:03 PM   #36
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I can explain this quite simply. There is a huge market for many of the endangered species and their parts. People will claim the parts are cast-offs, isolated finds, etc. when they are not. The goal of the law is to squash the whole custody chain from complete living animal to ground up tiger baculum powder final product. It is all taboo until the species recovers, except by permit.

Those fallen limbs, when it comes to being a commodity, strangely "fall off" in record numbers for no apparent reason.

If you can't have it at all, it saves on a lot of the problems being brought up here about proving provenance.

The sad thing is, there are far too many nefarious hikers that will throttle and eagle for a feather or who would gladly shoot some rare animal to just be able to say that they killed one.

With that said, if you don't like the law, now is your chance to shine. What are YOU doing to try to change it? Have you contacted your representatives? Have you looking into whatever other efforts are being put forth to change the law? What are YOU doing about it?
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Old August 29, 2011, 02:15 AM   #37
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The law vs reason...law wins..

unless/until a court decides otherwise. One of the disturbing things about the Gibson case is that property and assets are siezed, and they cannot do anything much until they get charged with something.

The whole "prove to us that you did NOT do something" attitude is the mentality of tyrants. In the US you are innocent until proven guilty, for some things, still, but for others, sadly the only innocence you have is the word "alleged" in news reports. Everything else you have to fight the system for.

Don't file your taxes? Prove to the IRS that you had no income!

Got an ivory bead on the front sight of that 90 year old high end sporter rifle? Prove to the govt that you didn't kill an elephant and mount it there yourself last week!

This may be politically motivated, but don't jump to conclusions. Administration supporters who break these laws suffer as well. Anyone remember back during the Clinton years, when an avid Hillary fan made a dream catcher and sent it to her? Turned out that it had eagle feathers, which, IIRC the lady picked up from the ground at a zoo. She was arrested.
(cannot now remember if there was prosecution or not, but I do remember that lady got arrested for having the feathers).

I understand the blanket nature of these laws, and the reasoning behind them. I can even accept the idea that making posession (however obtained) illegal keeps those limbs from "falling off" in large numbers. However, reason says that when a judge hears the details of the case, a decision can be made that you did just "find it on the ground".

BUT, until charges are brought, you will never even see a judge, and the judge will never see your case!

It seems very, very wrong to me that property can be siezed without charges being filed. It ought to be procedure that property cannot be siezed without charges. After all, if there is any evidence of wrongdoing, charges can be filed, THEN property siezed. If there is not enough evidence of a crime to file charges, what right (and overriding interest) can the govt have to sieze property? Morally, none, in my opinion.

Sadly, however, in the last couple decades, laws have been written, and some even passed allowing and even requiring the govt to do just that!

One bit of the Clinton crime bill (which I believe did get thrown out before passage) allowed the govt to sieze assets of people under investigation!

Would you like to have your bank accounts frozen while the govt ponders if you have committed a crime? Already you can be banned from flying (without any recourse as far as I know) if your name get put (rightly or wrongly) on a certain list, one that is not available to the general public.

A piece here, a piece there, pretty soon, you are talking real infringement.
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Old August 29, 2011, 07:03 AM   #38
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44Amp, the woman who sent Clinton the dream catcher was Peg Bargon back in 1994. Feathers weren't just from an eagle, but from several protected birds. Not only that, but she had lots of other feathers at her shop and was engaged in the selling of dream catchers made from the feathers of protected species. She was actively engaged in the procurement and selling of the feathers of protected species - trafficking. She received probation and a $1200 fine. She got off easy, a slap on the wrist because the judge did listen to her circumstances. She could have been charged individually for each feather.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...rodham-clinton

Bill Clinton did pardon her.
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...s-conviction/2
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Old August 29, 2011, 07:05 AM   #39
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Maybe I'm just dense and don't understand. But, don't we have something called the Fourth Amendment which protects us from unwarranted search and seizure? If no U.S. Law has been broken, then how did they get a darn warrant? Or did they even have a warrant? The story didn't seem to mention that.
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Old August 29, 2011, 09:00 AM   #40
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Thanks DNS for the explanation. That actually makes sense. I don't like it, but it does make sense.
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Old August 29, 2011, 10:09 AM   #41
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I don't like it either, but that seems to be how it is, IMO.

Quote:
Maybe I'm just dense and don't understand. But, don't we have something called the Fourth Amendment which protects us from unwarranted search and seizure? If no U.S. Law has been broken, then how did they get a darn warrant? Or did they even have a warrant? The story didn't seem to mention that.
Yes, we have the 4th Amendment. If it was violated, that would have been all over the story, but it wasn't and so wasn't an issue to be made in the story. Possession of various protected CITES species without permit is a violation of US law. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CITES

This story covers your concerns.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c993759c-d...#axzz1WQlGHPJ9

There were warrants issued. It is against US law to traffic or possess said endangered species without proper permits. Gibson claims to know the law and claims to have purchased everything through proper channels and with proper paperwork. Ideally, they will have their day and court and be proven correct.
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Old August 29, 2011, 11:28 AM   #42
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Thank you for the additional information, DNS.
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Old August 29, 2011, 01:57 PM   #43
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To be clear, a violation of the Lacey Act occurs when plant or animal material is taken in violation of a country's law. That is, if some species of wood is protected in, say, India and it's harvested there illegally and ends up in the US, it's here in violation of the Lacey Act. If that same wood is harvested where it's not protected, say, in Canada, then it's OK to import to the US.

There are plenty of other ways to violate the Lacey Act as well, of course, but that seems to be what the government is alleging in this case - that Gibson obtained wood that was illegally harvested in India.

It does seem to me to be awfully heavy-handed the way they went about investigating it, though. It seems to me like this is the sort of thing that could be handled with a subpoena and an audit. But what do I know?
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Old August 29, 2011, 11:30 PM   #44
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Maybe I'm just dense and don't understand. But, don't we have something called the Fourth Amendment which protects us from unwarranted search and seizure?
Sorry buddy. The 4th is mostly moribund. It fell victim to the anti-communists, the drug war, and the war on terror. It was one of the bits of freedom we traded for a little safety.

The amount of exotic woods used in firearms is minuscule. Demand for musical instruments are orders of magnitude larger and furniture is many times larger still.

If you're worried about the rosewood on your SAA, you're just wasting a good worry.
If your considering some new wood work for a gun, there are scores of beautiful choices, grown sustainability, right here in the USA.

Exotic woods are disappearing like teeth at a crystal meth convention. Many species of trees are commercially extinct. There are several types of lumber trees that are extinct.
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Old August 31, 2011, 02:39 PM   #45
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Alot of my guns were built in union shops, and several even in Illinois, not worried about the hardwoods issue at all.
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Old August 31, 2011, 03:54 PM   #46
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Guitars and guns

As I have many guns and also played guitar professionally, I'd like to add my two cents. Rosewood and ebony are for fingerboards, most better grade guitar bodies are made with mahogany, maple and alder while accoustic guitars are made with cypress and spruce. Cheap guitars are made with various unknown hardwoods as we see on economy grade rifles.

The Gibson raid, hopefully with full body armor, MP5s, etc as we all know that guitar makers can really be dangerous, is a prime example of over-regulation that's strangling the U.S. economy. Walnut, the favored wood for gunstocks, is generally not used in guitar making although I'm sure it's been tried. I don't know if walnut is an endangered species but the better grades are not found in vacant lots. They are scarce.

When you see what you believe to be regulatory abuse by agencies seeking to justify their existence, send a polite letter to your congressional reps and let them know how you feel.
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Old August 31, 2011, 09:43 PM   #47
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This is nuts and applies to anything you bring into the country made of wood. It all comes down to how you fill out the form (do you report you have wood?) and how much a **** the government employee you are dealing with plans on being. As you haven't "entered" the country until you are fully through customs and immigration you have fewer rights than normal.

I hadn't thought of gun grips when I saw this but I can see the issue. How about the stock on the rifle you are taking to Canada or Africa?

I had thought of pool cues. I have my father's which was made in 1964/65. How can I prove what all the wood in it is and if it is legal, likewise mine from 88?

As far as the Gibson donations line... I wouldn't look too deep there. As a former supplier to Gibson and with family in the musical instrument accessory market I know Gibson and its owner have horrible reputations when it comes to honoring contracts, payments and the like. I would rather see him rot for something else though.
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Old September 1, 2011, 12:04 PM   #48
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The Gibson raid, hopefully with full body armor, MP5s, etc as we all know that guitar makers can really be dangerous,....
I don't know if it is sarcasm or ignorance about the body armor, but I assume the latter as pictures from several of the articles show nothing akin to the storm trooper image you are trying to convey.

Now I realize that Henry Juskiewicz has made a big deal about "amred" law enforcement coming into his factories with guns (paraphrasing is weird way of saying things), but generally speaking, if you are being raided by law enforcement, by default they will be armed with guns.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9K8IDGUTrQk
http://www.theatlanticwire.com/busin...-moment/41996/

With that said, there have been various law enforcement folks killed over the years in these sorts of milk run administrative raids bcause there were indeed some very bad people covering their operations with seemingly legitimate businesses.
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Old September 1, 2011, 03:52 PM   #49
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Gibson was raided because they are non union and known contributor to conservatives. Martin uses the exact same materials but is a union shop and democrat contributor. I don't know if Gibson was targeted as retribution or if Martin was taken off the target list as a political payback, but it is an act of cronyism of the sort that is very old and has become much more common as the government has become more powerful and activist.

We should all expect the same sort of thing to happen to firearms manufacturers that don't acquiesce to demands from the feds that would be unconstitutional to legislate. Imagine that The feds tell a manufacturer or wholesaler that they should stop marketing and selling guns directly to the public through transfers OR ELSE.

A raid doesn't have to be constitutional or legally allowable to be effective. Look at what happened to Cav arms a few years back. They had written permission to do what they were doing and they still got raided, shut down, and bankrupted.
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Old September 1, 2011, 04:13 PM   #50
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Let's tone down the wild conspiracies unless you have convincing proof of such.

No black heliocopters coming for your ebony and rosewood, if you please - or fantasy gun confiscation.

Thanks.
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