Three students are likely to face firearms charges after an incident which closed State Highway 2 in the Karangahake Gorge near Paeroa.
Police say the road was closed after they received reports of a man with a handgun in a rest area yesterday.
Armed police searched the area, confronting teenage students who were at the rest area. An air pistol was confiscated.
Police say when reports of guns in public are received, the threat is treated as real.
They describe the students' behaviour as stupid and risky and say that they were unrepentant when confronted.