Gov. Abbott Signs Bill To Implement Statewide ‘Active Shooter Alert System’

Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law a bill requiring the Texas Department of Public Safety to create a text-message system to warn the public of active shooter situations.

The Leilah Hernandez Act, named for the youngest victim in Odessa’s mass shooting, would create a statewide system that would alert anyone near an active shooter. (Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio)

By Bárbara Anguiano

Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday signed into law a bill requiring the Texas Department of Public Safety to develop an active shooter alert system throughout the state. 

The bill aims to create a system that would help warn the public of active shooter situations, mainly through text messages, similar to Amber Alerts. 

State Rep. Brooks Landgraf worked with survivors and the families of victims of the 2019 Odessa shooting to write House Bill 103 or the Leilah Hernandez Act. Hernandez was the youngest victim of the Odessa shooting, in which seven people were killed and 25 others injured

In a press release, Gov. Abbott lauded the act, saying it will help save lives.

“I am proud to sign the Leilah Hernandez Act into law,” he said, “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.”

Landgraf says, “the goal of this legislation is to save lives and prevent mass violence while protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding Texans.”

Meanwhile, Abbott is expected to sign into law House Bill 1927, which would  eliminate  the requirement for Texas residents to have a license to carry handguns if not otherwise prohibited. 

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