Ordinary citizens in China do not have ready access to firearms. So it was considered front-page news recently when police announced that they had broken up an underground gun manufacturing and sales ring, impounding 15,000 guns and 120,000 knives. Among the weapons were machetes, pistols, machine guns, and long-range rifles. State media said that 15 suspects were arrested. Their operations spanned 27 provinces and municipalities. The seizures followed a four-month investigation, after police were tipped off about the ring after robberies in Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou Province. Official media said it was a family-run gang, but it is unclear how they gained access to such vast numbers of weapons. The incident is the largest bust of its kind in China. In previous years, underground weapons manufacturing has often been linked to military corruption. There has been a rise in violent crimes in China this year, with bomb and knife attacks in Shaanxi, Guizhou, and Yunnan since January.