Armed officers descended on Hanley city centre in Stoke-On-Trent after teenagers were spotted on CCTV holding a gun.
Staffordshire Police have confirmed they have seized two BB weapons and ammunition following the incident.
Three teenagers, aged 16 and 17, were arrested on suspicion of firearms offences.
A spokesman for Staffordshire Police said “They could be faced with a real firearm pointed at them and an officer shouting instructions,” he said.
“The officers have to make a split-second decision about if a threat is real or not from a distance. The actions of those carrying such weapons for fun causes fear amongst other people. It is not a game.”