Heathrow calls shots on Olympic guns


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The Independent Online

UK Border officials are investigating special measures to cope with the number of guns that will be brought into the country for Olympic shooting events.

A Heathrow document about preparations as host airport for the Games says: "All passengers will travel through the normal customs procedures when arriving at Heathrow.

"We do, however, expect a higher number of firearms to come through the airport due to the shooting events."

Some 390 athletes will compete in the Games' various shooting events, bringing in 780 firearms. A total of 800 athletes are taking part in the test events in April at the Royal Artillery Barracks (RAB), and will be bringing 1,100 guns.

The document adds: "To manage the extra demand we will be putting in place a system to ensure the firearms are safely transported to the appropriate venue.

"When the competitors arrive, firearms will be collected and transported by approved handlers to airside Locog [the London 2012 organisers] vehicles, where they will be secured and subsequently transported to the Royal Artillery Barracks.

"On the day of issue of firearms to athletes, UKBA [the UK Border Agency] will perform necessary checks against required paperwork within the armoury at RAB."

There are 15 gold medals to be won in the shooting events. It is one of relatively few sports that have featured at every Games since their modern inception in 1896.