The search began after two female students reported to school authorities that a male student showed them a handgun, according to Sgt. Michael Pooley with the Tempe Police Department.
The girls said the student had the gun in his backpack and he showed it to them just before school started.
"It's not for them to determine the level of a threat," one parent said. "It's good they reported what they saw and they should be commended."
School officials notified police, who responded and searched the school.
Police said sometime after showing the girls the air gun, the male student passed it to another boy and police found it with that student.
Both students were arrested for disruption of an educational facility, a class six felony.
The school was on lockdown while police conducted the search. They went classroom-to-classroom, interviewing and searching students, and reviewed surveillance tapes.
No threats were ever made and all students are safe.
The school is sending a letter home with students to inform parents about the incident.
An official with the Tempe Elementary School District said no calls, texts or alerts were sent out during the incident for fear it would jeopardize the investigation.
Parents said they felt fearful when they arrived at the school to pick up their children and saw several police officers.
"You come up to the school and you see police and your heart sinks," one parent said.
The school is near Baseline Road and McClintock Drive.
Police at Fees Middle School have located the student and gun which was a BB gun. Lockdown lifted— Tempe Police & Fire (@TempePoliceFire) December 6, 2013