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NAMM to Send Complaint About Lacey Act to President Obama, Congress

In the wake of federal agents' Aug. 24 raid on Gibson's facilities, NAMM has drafted a complaint that will go to President Barack Obama and members of U.S. Congress on behalf of the music products industry. A representative of NAMM said the letter will be sent after the Labor Day weekend.

The statement, signed by NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond and Chairman Kevin Cranley, specifically addressed how NAMM's member companies have been negatively impacted by the Lacey Act, which the statement called "a well-intentioned law, but one with unintended consequences that we feel are damaging to our industry and the economy."

The statement also said that the law's lack of clarity has made compliance difficult for music industry companies.

"The confusion is due in large part to the law's ambitious scope, including enforcement of the laws from all other countries that are the source of these natural materials.

"The recent high-profile raid (multiple federal agencies with automatic weapons) of Gibson Guitars, a leading NAMM member company in Tennessee, compounded with the slow response on needed guidance for compliance that we have been seeking has created fear and uncertainty for all those involved in the manufacturing, distribution and retailing of instruments and, increasingly, artists and owners of musical instruments."

NAMM added that it has concrete ideas for improving the law and is ready to work with members of Congress and federal agencies to make changes that fulfill the intended vision of the Lacey Act.

The Lacey Act was designed to combat trafficking in illegal plants and wildlife. In May 2008, the law was amended to protect a wider range of plants and plant products.