Armed police are deployed in the West Midlands 24 times every week, the Home Office has revealed.
There were more police firearms operations in the region than any other part of the country except London.
West Midlands Police has deployed armed officers 1,264 times in the past 12 months.
The use of armed police has risen dramatically in recent years, as concern about gun crime heightened.
In 2001/ 02, they were deployed 822 times. Today's figure is 50 per cent higher.
Attention focused on gun crime after Birmingham teenagers Charlene Ellis and Letisha Shakespeare Ellis were shot dead in Aston in January 2003.
Their murder was only one high-profile example of the problem. The large rise in incidents reflected an increase in the number of operations tackling gun crime.
It also included cases where police were called to deal with crimes thought to involve firearms which turned out to be false alarms, and police guarding people at hospitals.
Recent crime figures showed gun crime was falling in the West Midlands.
West Midlands Police continues to employ relatively few officers with firearms training. It has 134 authorised firearms officers, with the special training required to carry guns if needed.
By contrast, West Mercia Police has 141 authorised firearms officers, even though they were only deployed 152 times.
In London, the Metropolitan Police authorised the use of firearms on 2,964 operations, more than twice as many as the West Midlands.
But it employs 2,134 authorised firearms officers, 15 times as many as West Midlands Police.
The figures were revealed by Home Office Minister Hazel Blears. She said police fired weapons only 18 times in the entire country all year, in five separate incidents.
The Minister said: "In addition, the police discharged baton rounds in 23 incidents and fired Taser in 35 incidents.
"Armed response vehicles were deployed on 13,137 occasions and there were 6,243 authorised firearms officers in England and Wales."
A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police said: "The deployment of armed response officers would be dependent on there being a link to a firearm, or a person having immediate access to a firearm, or that the person was otherwise so dangerous that they presented an immediate risk, and that with these elements present there is a real risk or potential risk of a person causing harm to the public, police officers or themselves.
"Incidents will be both dynamic situations and preplanned operations and in all cases a risk assessment will be carried out in advance of that deployment, which will be continually reviewed throughout the incident."