Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Public Administration and Nonprofit Management, M.P.A.


Political Science Department


Laurie Buonanno, PhD

Department Home page

First Reader

Laurie Buonanno, PhD

Second Reader

Frank Ciaccia, MPA

Third Reader

Maria Garozzo Payne, MPA


The NY SAFE Act is a controversial gun control law in New York State. Since its passage on January 15, 2013, it has been the source of a continuing controversy. The primary purpose of this study is to explore the reactions of New York State (elected) county clerks tasked with the law’s implementation. In this phenomenological study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 county clerks across New York State. The researcher asked various questions about how the SAFE Act has affected their offices. The researcher used thematic analysis to organize themes, which reveal that a lack of or inadequate intergovernmental communication and the absence of any requests for input from the county clerks before the SAFE Act was passed has resulted in dissatisfaction among the clerks. Additionally, the SAFE Act has resulted in significant increase in administrative workload, and prompted a generally negative reaction from the county clerk’s constituencies. The researcher concludes with several administrative recommendations based on the study’s findings.