Add this to the data pile on the Ft. Hood shooter: We've learned that Nidal Hasan applied for and received a permit to carry a concealed handgun in Virginia in March 1996.
A Roanoke County Circuit Court clerk was able to tell us that he received the permit, but not the reason he specifed on his application for needing the gun. The obvious one, of course, would be that he's a soldier. The clerk is pulling the application form out of storage.
Hasan was born and raised in Virginia, and lived in Roanoke where his parents ran a restaurant. The concealed handgun permit was granted in 1996, not long after Hasan graduated from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., and renewed in February 1998. It's unclear precisely when Hasan joined the Army—most reports say he signed up out of high school, but the Roanoke Times says he graduated from Virginia Tech in 1995 and that the school has no record of Hasan's participation in its ROTC or Corps of Cadets programs. In any event, we imagine it's fairly routine for soldiers to apply for, and receive, concealed carry permits.