Gibson launches ‘Government Series’ guitars with tonewood seized in 2011 raid

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Gibson has introduced its Government Series II Les Paul guitars, made from the returned tonewood the federal government initially seized from the Nashville company in 2011.

The Department of Justice had raided Gibson Guitar facilities in name of the Lacey Act, a law that bans the importation of certain kinds of wildlife, plants and wood, Breitbart News reported.

Gibson Guitars CEO Henry Juszkiewicz settled with the Department of Justice in 2012 by agreeing to pay a penalty.

Now, it appears the tonewood has been returned to Gibson, which has launched a new series in celebration.

“Great Gibson electric guitars have long been a means of fighting the establishment, so when the powers that be confiscated stocks of tonewoods from the Gibson factory in Nashville — only to return them once there was a resolution and the investigation ended — it was an event worth celebrating,” a website description reads. “Introducing the Government Series II Les Paul, a striking new guitar from Gibson USA for 2014 that suitably marks this infamous time in Gibson’s history.”

The guitars come in “Government Tan” and feature a pickguard “that’s hot-stamped in gold with the Government Series graphic — a bald eagle hoisting a Gibson guitar neck,” the description says.

“Each Government Series II Les Paul also includes a genuine piece of Gibson USA history in its solid rosewood fingerboard, which is made from wood returned to Gibson by the US government after the resolution.”

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