"Wood Protection Law Creates Splintering in Guitar Industry"

"While the National Assn. of Music Merchants and some guitar makers seek reform of the federal Lacey Act that protects certain exotic woods, others benefit from it."

"Veteran guitar repairman Bob Wirtz faced a wall of pricey custom-built electric guitars, and he had the ear of Gibson Guitar Corp.'s resident expert on the instruments. But what Wirtz wanted to talk about was international law.

Like many who attended the National Assn. of Music Merchants convention in Anaheim last weekend, Wirtz was tapping into a discordant tone among the makers, purveyors and purchasers of guitars that often are made from exotic woods protected by the federal Lacey Act.

A raid on Gibson's Nashville factory last summer, the second at company workshops in as many years, vaulted the once obscure law into the national spotlight when Chief Executive Henry E. Juszkiewicz accused the federal government of "bullying" and "persecution." His high-profile campaign against the raids has made him the darling of the GOP and the tea party movement and their agenda of regulatory reform."

Geoffrey Mohan reports for the Los Angeles Times January 24, 2012.

Source: LA Times, 01/24/2012