Opinion Columns & Blogs

Does downtown arena need gun lockers?

The Wichita Eagle

Sedgwick County Commissioner Jim Howell advocates installing gun lockers at Intrust Bank Arena, which bans guns and knives as well as air horns, selfie sticks and many other items. That’s a worthy idea as a matter of convenience, as legislation pushed through by then-Rep. Howell and others in Topeka has made guns welcome nearly everywhere else. Unfortunately, Howell pushed the proposal at a recent commission meeting while suggesting that patrons have reason to “feel unsafe between their car and the arena” and need the “opportunity to defend themselves.” Assistant County Manager Ron Holt countered that the Wichita Police Department has said “the safest place in Wichita is in a six- or seven-block (area) surrounding the arena during an event night.” As Commissioner Dave Unruh added: “I just want to try to not give the impression that there’s any danger in going to our Intrust Bank Arena and enjoying the activities that are put on there.” – Rhonda Holman