Two young boys got a stern lecture after pointing BB guns at their aunty on Marine Parade yesterday afternoon.

The boys, aged 10 and 11, were playing with their aunty who pulled up beside their car by pretending to shoot her with their soft air BB guns.

A witness saw the exchange and called police.

Constable Brian Halse said the report was taken very seriously. Armed with glocks, police tracked the vehicle down on the Awatoto side of the Parade.

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Police returned the guns but not before petrifying the pair with a "bloody good telling off".

Mother Jessica, who did not want her last name used, said the guns would now be going straight in the bin.

"I've told them before they can't aim them at people."

She asked the police to reiterate the message.

"They were very scared when they saw the guns and the bullet proof vests."

The New Zealand police website states that BB guns are classified as airguns under the Arms Act 1983.

"Anyone under 18 may use an airgun if they hold a New Zealand Firearms Licence or they are under the immediate supervision of a firearms licence holder or a person aged 18 or older."

The family were visiting from Rotorua but plan to make a permanent move to the region after falling in love with Hawke's Bay.

It is not the first instance of toy guns being mistaken for real ones in the Bay. Back in December 2015, three Hastings teenagers waved fake guns around town while claiming to be from Isis.

The three 16-year-olds walked around Napier's CBD with the phoney firearms shouting that they were from the militant group Isis. The group then made their way to Hastings where they again attracted attention from the public.

Police caught up with them at a Hastings house and when confronted, one of the boys threatened a police officer. The teenagers had bought the toy guns from a $2 shop in Napier.

A spokesman for the Eastern District Police said you will only get yourself into trouble playing with firearms.

"Police will respond to any reports of firearms and treat it very seriously," the spokesman said.

Police hoped the incident in December would serve as a warning to anyone thinking of performing a similar stunt.