Home Secretary Jacqui Smith yesterday praised a massive West Midlands Police operation to tackle gun crime.
The Redditch MP said other cities could learn from Birmingham's approach and called for children as young as five to be educated about the dangers of gang culture.
Her comments followed a 24-hour blitz targeting businesses and individuals from 6am on Wednesday. Twenty warrants were executed in the Aston, Alum Rock, Handsworth and Ward End areas of Birmingham and 25 people were arrested.
Officers seized weapons including three CS gas canisters and four air rifles. Batons and knives were also taken along with drugs.
Similar operations in Liverpool, Greater Manchester and London were also carried out as part of Tackling Gangs Action Day, with more than a thousand officers on streets. The national operation resulted in 1,300 real and replica firearms being seized and 116 arrests.
Ms Smith said: "Those areas cover more than 50 per cent of gun crime.
"What I was very keen to do was demonstrate we can make a difference and a lot of good has been coming of it."
She said Birmingham's way of tackling gun crime could be used as an example.
"I think the important thing is I know a lot of good work is being carried out by West Midlands Police - with Birmingham City Council - developing the injunction systems they have got," she said. "We will now be able to share that with not just Manchester, Liverpool and London but the rest of the country."
The Home Secretary added the blitz was not a one off and was part of ongoing work to reduce gun crime and tackle gang culture.
"We are in this for the long run," she said. "We need to prevent young people from getting in gangs in the first place.
"What I have seen in Manchester is police working with five, six and seven year-olds, where they make the case to them about keeping safe, what they need to do and what is worrying.
"Even very young children know about gangs and know about guns. The gang lifestyle is not something you should be considering."
Along with Revenue and Customs licensing officers, police also visited registered firearms dealers to check their records to ensure they were complying with laws on selling guns.
Previous Home Office research has indicated that an imitation firearm can be bought for just £20 and a shotgun for £50.
A military-quality handgun can go for about £1,000, while an automatic weapon can carry a price tag of up to £4,000.
Meanwhile, Euro-MPs in Brussels yesterday approved moves setting new minimum rules for the sale of guns to the public, including replica weapons which can be read-ily converted to fire live ammunition.
The law was pushed thorough by Manchester Labour MEP Arlene McCarthy, who brandished a replica 9mm Smith and Wesson gun in the European Parliament chamber in Brussels last night to emphasise the easy availability of potentially-deadly weapons.
The gun had arrived undetected in Brussels through the post after being bought over the counter in Frankfurt.
Ms Smith praised Miss McCarthy and commented: "This shows what can be achieved when we work together with our European partners to strengthen our efforts to tackle gun crime."
Ms McCarthy said: "It is good that Europe can show it responds to citizens' concerns and we can deliver. This law will cut the illegal trade in guns.
"Lives of young people have already been taken. We owe it to them and their families to do everything we can to take these guns off our streets."
* The new law comes into force across Europe in January, but EU Governments have until 2010 to amend their domestic gun laws;
* At the moment anyone can buy a replica gun across a shop counter in some EU countries, even though it can be converted into a deadly weapon;
* The new EU Directive will not affect people licensed to possess weapons for legitimate reasons, but will apply the same strict controls to buyers of replicas by classifying convertible weapons as firearms;
* That means buyers must provide identity details so that the sale is registered with the retailer or manufacturer, with all weapons sold in the EU traceable to their owners. Those with criminal records may be refused the right to buy replicas;
* No one under 18 will be able to possess replicas, except for hunting or target shooting purposes with parental permission or under the guidance of a licensed adult;
* The real target is so-called "convertible" guns - blank-firing guns often used at sports events but which can easily be converted to fire live ammunition. Convertible guns are already banned in the UK, as are "realistic replica weapons", even if not convertible