AUSTIN House Bill 103, a bill filed by State Rep. Brooks Landgraf, R-Odessa, to create the Texas Active Shooter Alert System, was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday, a press release detailed.
Landgraf’s bill, which is referred to as the Leilah Hernandez Act, reportedly received unanimous support at every stage of the legislative process.
“The passage of the Leilah Hernandez Act means that Texans will be able to receive timely alerts, similar to Amber alert messages we currently receive, if there is an active shooting taking place in their area,” Landgraf stated in the press release. “This alert system could have saved the lives of some of my constituents back in 2019, like high school student Leilah Hernandez. The goal of this legislation is to save lives and prevent mass violence while protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Texans.”
Landgraf crafted HB 103, the Leilah Hernandez Act, after working with constituents and families of victims from the August 31, 2019 mass shooting in Odessa and Midland, the press release stated.
Leilah Hernandez, a 15-year-old Odessa High School student, was the youngest victim killed that tragic day. Leilah’s mother, Joanna Leyva, provided powerful testimony in support of the bill at the Texas Capitol, explaining how an active shooter alert system could have saved Leilah’s life.
“I am proud to sign the Leilah Hernandez Act into law, and I thank Representative Landgraf for championing this legislation,” Gov. Abbott stated in the press release. “With the Leilah Hernandez Act, the Lone Star State will now have an Active Shooter Alert System that will notify Texans of violent threats in their communities and help save lives. We will never forget the lives tragically cut short in the Midland-Odessa shooting, including 15-year old Leilah Hernandez. And we will never stop working towards a safer future for our state.”
HB 103 would require the Texas Department of Public Safety to develop and implement the Active Shooter Alert System. The alerts are intended to be issued quickly via SMS text and other available communications to the public in proximity to an active shooter situation.
“I want to thank everyone who had a hand in the passage of this legislation, especially Leilah’s family and other victims and witnesses of the Odessa shooting. Speaker Dade Phelan, Senator Judith Zaffirini, Chairman James White, Governor Abbott, and many others played important roles in getting this bill over the finish line. Now it is time to get the system in place so we can start saving lives,” Landgraf stated in the press release.