Man arrested after bringing gun to Old Town

A 27-year-old man with a felony conviction was arrested after he admitted to bringing a gun to Old Town on Friday night, police said.

Officers patrolling the area shortly before 11:30 p.m. on Friday spotted two men acting suspiciously near a vehicle in the 200 block of North Mead, Wichita police Lt. Joe Schroeder said. When the officers checked the vehicle, they saw a handgun in plain view along with open alcohol containers.

By then, the two men originally seen near the vehicle had tried to blend into the crowd, Schroeder said. They were found and questioned. The driver admitted the gun was his, saying he had brought to Old Town to protect himself.

Old Town has been the scene of shooting incidents for four consecutive weekends. When police discovered the man had a felony conviction, he was arrested because most felons are prohibited from possessing firearms.

There were no shooting incidents in Old Town this weekend, Schroeder said - the first time that’s happened in more than a month.

Two factors likely played a role in Old Town’s calmer weekend, he said: an increased police presence and cool, damp weather. People aren’t likely to linger outside after clubs close if it’s cold or wet, he said, because it simply isn’t comfortable to be out in such weather.

As the weather cools down, Schroeder said, he expects problems in Old Town to decrease as well.