Three men were arrested by armed police after a gun was spotted by a CCTV operator.
Officers were called to West Gate, Mansfield, shortly after 11.20pm yesterday (Monday) when what appeared to be a black hand-gun was displayed.
After a brief search, officers stopped three suspects in nearby Westfield Lane and recovered a gas-powered BB gun and an air rifle.
Three men, aged 37, 33 and 29 were arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. They remain in police custody.
Inspector David Mather, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This would have been an alarming incident for anyone to witness and quite rightly generated an appropriate immediate police response.
“Brandishing any kind of firearm in a public place is an incredibly serious offence and will always be met with swift action.
“Thanks to the professionalism of the local CCTV operator and some excellent team-work on the ground we were very quickly able to bring three suspects into custody and take two weapons off the streets.”
BB guns fire plastic and metal ball bearings either using compressed gas or an electrical system. It is very difficult to differentiate between them and live firearms so therefore should never be taken out in public.