Gibson Guitar Sale: Is It Illegal To Knowingly Buy Counterfeit Gibson Guitars?

More info: Hear a demo of the Gibson J-200 Standard acoustic guitar and learn a bit about its history.

I want to get a new guitar and I have been looking at some fake Gibson guitars made in the Epiphone factory in China. It would be pretty sweet to basically have a Epiphone Les Paul that has the same visual specs as a Gibson. If you buy the right copy, they play and sound amazing. But I don’t want to spend 2 or 3 grand on a Gibson.

So, is it illegal to knowingly buy a Gibson counterfeit and ship it to the US?
I have a Gibson Thunderhorse Explorer and a Epiphone Les Paul Standard. I know that it won’t sound and or play like a Gibson but I really don’t feel like shelling out another 2 grand for a guitar. I’m only using it for playing live and if I change the pickups and hardware to actual Gibson hardware, why not get a copy that sounds alright that doesn’t matter if it gets scratched or banged?
For example:
For example: