Active shooter bill heading to governor’s desk

AUSTIN House Bill 103, filed by State Rep. Brooks Landgraf, R-Odessa, to create the Texas Active Shooter Alert System, passed out of the Texas Senate with unanimous support on Wednesday. Landgraf’s bill was passed by the Texas House of Representatives last month, so the measure now heads to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk, the final stage of the legislative process.

“I’m thankful to my colleagues in the House and Senate — especially Sen. Judith Zaffirini, who represents Sutherland Springs — for the unwavering support for this necessary policy,” Landgraf stated in the news release. “HB 103 did not receive a single negative vote at any stage of the legislative process. Texans have spoken: our state needs the active shooter alert system required by the Leilah Hernandez Act.”

Landgraf crafted HB 103, the Leilah Hernandez Act, after working with constituents and families of victims from the Aug. 31, 2019, mass shooting in Odessa and Midland.

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.

“We can never replace the lives we lost over Labor Day weekend in 2019,” Landgraf stated in the release. “But we believe that fewer Texans would have perished if this system had been in place at the time, and we are hopeful implementing the alert system now will save lives in the future.”

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.

Landgraf has described this bill as a way to save lives and prevent mass violence while protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Texans.