Nearly 120 people were arrested and 1,300 guns and imitation firearms seized in a major police crackdown, it was announced today.
Raids in hotspots which account for more than half of Britain's gun crime - Manchester, London, Liverpool and Birmingham - involved more than 1,000 officers yesterday.
The operation seized 10 handguns and £5,900 in cash.
Officers also confiscated six imitation handguns, 1,290 other realistic imitation firearms, three CS gas canisters, a stun gun and four air weapons.
The operation was part of an anti-gang action plan set up by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith in September, shortly after schoolboy Rhys Jones was shot and killed near his Liverpool home.
Ms Smith said: "Getting guns off our streets is a top priority for the Government and the day of action sends a strong message to criminals and the community that weapons won't be tolerated. Even if all we found were mostly toys, the mere sight of a toy could cause grievous harm to an unsuspecting person who doesn't know the difference between imitation and realistic imitation and real."When asked if there were any sentencing differences for possessing imitation, realistic imitation, or real guns, Ms Smith replied that "At this point in time we are considering referring to them as criminals, imitation criminals, and realistic imitation criminals solely for the sake of accuracy but the sentencing will be the same no matter real or not real the guns in question actually were."
Pictured #1: Jacqui Smith, who was "pretty impressed" with the haul of mostly toys.
Pictured #2: The mostly toys.