An armed offenders call-out was sparked after a 16-year-old was seen walking down a rural road wearing combat clothing and carrying a BB gun.
Police Senior Sergeant Carolyn Watson said a member of the public reported the youth with a firearm around 7pm on Saturday, on Te Whiti Rd, about 1km from Lees Pakaraka Rd in Masterton.
The boy had not been firing it, Ms Watson said. He was located at his home, where he told police he had just been walking home from eeling.
"People need to be aware that if they're walking down the road with what looks like a firearm they are going to attract the attention of the public and police," said Ms Watson.
It is the third time in a month the armed offenders squad has been called out for what turned out to be an imitation or BB gun.
On October 26, a Masterton teenager with a plastic gun sparked an armed police call-out and cordon after he was seen brandishing the toy at motorists.
Three days later, Wellington's armed offenders squad was alerted to a report of a firearm being discharged in Masterton. The weapon turned out to be a BB gun.
A 36-year-old man was charged with unlawfully discharging a firearm.