Utne Blogs > Wild Green

Wild Green

Former Utne Reader senior editor Keith Goetzman on environmental issues from climate change to composting.


How Green Is Your Gun?

 by Keith Goetzman


Tags: Environment, wilderness and wildlife, wood, logging, forests, sustainable business, politics, guns, Mongabay, Keith Goetzman,

Smith and Wesson revolverAttention firearms enthusiasts: The U.S. government is not going to take away your weapons, as you might have heard. But it is going to make sure that the stocks of new rifles and revolvers are made from legally sourced wood.

The 110-year-old Lacey Act was amended in 2008 to ban the trade of illegally logged wood products. Rules went into effect a year ago for goods including flooring, plywood, sawn timber, and caskets—and now the law’s scope has expanded further. The environmental blog Mongabay reports on the new level of scrutiny:

April 1, 2010, marks the beginning of U.S. enforcement for basic transparency requirements under the Lacey Act for guitars, revolvers, hand tools, pool cues, and certain furniture. This requires manufacturers of such items to declare basic information about where their wood comes from and how it is sourced.

Mongabay notes that the law isn’t messing around: Last year, federal agents raided the Nashville headquarters of Gibson Guitars after being tipped that it was using illegally logged Madagascar rosewood in its instruments. I assume they’ll be even more heavily armed if they approach the headquarters of, say, Smith & Wesson to serve a summons. (I think it goes without saying that they’ll pass a “This Property Protected by Smith & Wesson” sticker on their way in.)

It’s got to rankle many an NRA diehard to think that the weapon he once thought would have to be pried from his cold, dead hands might actually have the tree-hugger stamp of approval on its wood parts.

Source: Mongabay

Image by ~Steve Z~, licensed under Creative Commons.