ARMED police were called after members of the public spotted a man brandishing a hand gun from a car in Horsham town centre.
Armed units were scrambled to the Bishop-ric just before 8pm on a busy Friday night last week.
When they arrived it emerged that the suspect had been driven off - but he was soon spotted by local officers, the County Times has learned.
Patrol cars pursued the vehicle which was stopped ‘without incident’ nearby in Tower Hill.
Two people, a man and a woman, were arrested at the scene.
Police quickly discovered that the hand gun was only capable of firing ball bearings.
A police spokeswoman told the County Times: “Officers were called to The Bishopric at 7.45pm on Friday after a member of the public reported seeing a passenger in a parked car waving a gun out of the window.
“The car had driven off but was soon spotted by local officers who followed it until it was stopped by armed officers in nearby Tower Hill some 45 minutes later.
“Officers took possession of a BB gun and arrested the man and the woman who was driving the car.”
The woman was later released without any action being taken against her and the 31-year-old Horsham man accepted a police caution for possessing an imitation firearm in a public place without lawful authority.
The spokeswoman added: “Nobody was endangered during the incident which was resolved peacefully.
“The man voluntarily left the gun with police and it will be destroyed.”
Back in May this year armed police were called to Capel Road in Rusper after another incident involving an air gun.
Officers attended the scene on Sunday morning on May 8 of this year and nearby roads were closed for three hours.
The gun was fire but no-one was injured in the incident, police said at the time.
Three people were arrested in connection with that inquiry and various legally held firearms were confiscated.
Two men aged 29 and 44 from Rusper were held on suspicion of firearms offences but bailed.
A third man, aged 24, from Berkshire, was arrested on suspicion of burglary.
All three men were known to each other, no further action is to be taken against the three.
Do you have a story? Email ct.news@
sussexnewspapers.co.uk or call our reporters on 01403 751 256.