A police inquiry into reports of a man with a pistol in central Tauranga turned up nothing more sinister than a BB gun.
Tauranga police Senior Sergeant Glenn Saunders said a "vigilant member of the public" saw a man go into a house on Seventeenth Ave with what appeared to be a pistol and reported it to police.
"It was all quite innocent. It was a guy carrying a heap of stuff in from his car and it was a BB gun," Mr Saunders said.
Despite the false alarm Mr Saunders said it was better for people to report concerns early rather than leaving police to deal with the consequences.
"If they are not sure or if they see someone with a firearm and they think it's inappropriate we'd rather they report it."
Police are looking for a man reported to have been seen with a weapon near central Tauranga.
A police northern communications spolesperson said police were looking for a suspicious man who possibly had a weapon around Devonport Rd and Seventeenth Ave.