London's Heathrow Prepares for More Guns at the Airport Because of Olympics

Authorities are preparing for a huge influx of guns because of the 2012 Olympics in London, but not because of any nefarious plot. It’s due to firearms needed for the shooting events of the games.

Guns as Athletic Gear

According to the AP, officials at Heathrow expect to have to deal with at least 390 athletes packing 780 firearms, plus another 200 guns that arrive with Paralympic competitors, and that’s a lot of weapons.

Going to Olympics? Expect Some ‘Delays, Frustration’

What this means is, once an athlete arrives with his gun, he or she will need to take the following steps:

  1. Owners with properly packed guns go through customs
  2. Guns are then collected and taken to approved ‘handler’ with vehicle
  3. Vehicle then transports firearms to Royal Artillery Barracks

Weapons to be Carefully Monitored

The Royal Artillery Barracks is where shooting events are scheduled to take place. When the firearms are released to the competitors for events there, or perhaps for practice, they will then be checked out again by the UK Border Agency.

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Busiest Olympic Travel Period Begins with Closing Ceremony

London’s Heathrow will be plenty busy even without all the firearms – it’s been estimated that close to 60,000 will come to London for the games.

The worst of it for the airport is expected to come during the three-day period that begins with the conclusion of the games – the closing ceremony is set for Aug. 12 – but it is hoped that a lot of the pressure will be eased with a temporary “Special Games Terminal” which 10,000 athletes and others will use as they make their way home.

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Published: January 19, 2012