Others in the guitar world aren't so upbeat. Attorney Ronald Bienstock says the Gibson raids have aroused the guitar builders he represents because the Lacey Act is retroactive. He says they're worried they might be forced to prove the provenance of wood they acquired decades ago.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Rosewood, Guitars, and Federal Seizure...
The US Government is now in the vintage guitar seizing business...
Nice. So, let's say somebody has a guitar that was their grandfather's, and they go out of the country with it... Should they have to prove that it was their grandfather's? How would you prove that it was a family heirloom? A receipt? Hell, I have a ton of instruments and receipts for few of them... A lot of them are old, and, I have no idea if they have some type of illegal wood in them. Does this mean I should be locked up if one of them has a component that my government says is bad? Personally, I don't think so.
I find it interesting that this act involving guitars are retro-active, but, ones on guns (which, I presume, are involved in more deaths than guitars) have historically not been. For example, when the last assault weapons ban was passed in the US, there was nothing wrong with selling high capacity magazines or even owning them, so long as they were old... But, the manufacture and sale of new high capacity magazines was prohibited. After the law sunset under George W. Bush (one of the few things he didn't botch up), Americans could again buy 33 round magazines for our Glock hand guns, 100 round drums for our M16s, and 75 round mags for our AK-47s.
While I think that both the Lacey Act and the last assault weapons ban are pretty terrible pieces of legislation, it would be nice if our leaders would actually think when it comes to making laws.