Malcolm Horsley, 43, caused concern when walking in a field off Stockton Road, Hartlepool with what turned out to be a loaded air rifle.
The rifle did not require a certificate although Horsley was barred from having it because of a previous seven-year prison sentence.
He also had a lock knife on him when police attended on February 6 last year.
Jennifer Haigh, prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court, said: “He had been walking on a footpath on Stockton Road in the direction of Brenda Road carrying a weapon and the reporter was concerned about this.”
Police went out and found Horsley and located the air rifle nearby. He told them he had been shooting game.
He also had lead pellets and a wood-handled lock knife on him.
He pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm when prohibited, having a firearm and ammunition in public and having a bladed article.
The knife offence carried the greater punishment, including potential prison, while the air rifle offences were punishable by fines.
The court heard Horsley, of Elizabeth Way, Seaton Carew, had no similar previous convictions and was last before the courts ten years ago.
Alex Bousfield, mitigating, said he had made a “silly decision” in taking the air rifle out, adding: “He regrets it immensely.”
Judge Howard Crowson told him it looked more dangerous than it was.
Horsley was given a two-month jail prison, which was suspended for 12 months, for the knife charge, fined £100 for the firearm offences, and given 20 rehabilitation activity days.