Police have arrested three men after a gun was found hidden in a a hedge in Newcastle, Co Down.
The firearm was found after a passing police patrol noticed a group of men acting suspiciously at around 2am on Sunday morning.
After an examination of the area where they had been standing a shotgun was discovered, concealed in a hedge.
Three men aged 20, 26 and 41, have bee arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm in suspicious circumstances.
All three remain in custody helping police with their enquiries.
Police believe there may be a link between this incident and a burglary at a nearby property.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact detectives at Downpatrick on 101.