The newspaper map of one New York county's pistol permits was riddled with problems, thanks to inaccurate data in official records, acknowledges the paper that published it. Just 3,907 of the 16,998 permit-holding households displayed on the Journal News' Rockland County map were current; the rest were classified as "historical," with no updates in the past five years, explains Rockland's county clerk. Some permits were issued as long ago as the 1930s; owners could have moved, ditched their guns, or died since then. (An additional map on the website isolates these older permits.)
In other cases, the data was flat-out wrong, the Journal News reports. For instance, one man found his address on the map because his brother-in-law had used it in a 1997 gun license application. That brother-in-law moved to Arizona soon afterward. "Nobody ever called and verified the address," said the local man. Until New York state enacted new laws this month, all but three counties outside New York City provided lifetime permits and, as the county clerk explains, it was up to Rockland County permit holders to update their info, but many didn't. Now, all permits have to be renewed at least every five years. The newspaper's Westchester County map is more accurate, it reports, as it is one of the three counties that required regular permit renewal.