AUSTIN — State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) filed House Bill 103 to create the Texas Active Shooter Alert System. The bill requires the state to implement a system to alert Texans if there is an active shooter in their area as determined by local law enforcement. Landgraf's proposal is designed to reduce mass violence without infringing on the constitutional rights of law-abiding Texans.
“Over Labor Day weekend last year, my hometown of Odessa, joined an ever-growing list of American cities that have tragically experienced a mass shooting,” Landgraf said. “In the aftermath, I received countless calls and messages from constituents with ideas on how to address the problem and prevent massive losses of life in the future. Everyone I’ve spoken with agrees that we have a need for this statewide active shooter alert system, similar to the Amber Alert.”
Landgraf crafted the proposed legislation after working with families of victims of the mass shooting in which a mobile gunman killed 7 and injured 25 across Midland and Odessa on August 31, 2019.
HB 103 requires the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to develop and implement an alert system to be activated on report of an active shooter. DPS would activate the alert system in a 50-mile radius of an active shooter's location on the request of a local law enforcement agency who determines there is an active shooter situation. The legislation also requires the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to establish a plan for providing relevant information to the public within 50 miles of an active shooter through its existing system of dynamic message signs located across the state.
“The goal of HB 103 is to save lives and assist first responders,” Landgraf continued. “An alert system of this kind could have helped spare the life of Odessa High School student, Leilah Hernandez, who was killed almost an hour after the shooting rampage began. That’s why Leilah’s family—and other victims’ families—are passionately advocating for this alert system. Now it’s time to get to work and get this bill to the governor’s desk.”
Landgraf and the other members of the Texas legislature will convene for the 87th Texas Legislative Session on January 12, 2021. Members of the Texas House and Texas Senate may begin filing bills for the 2021 legislative session as early as November 9, 2020. The Texas legislature meets at the Texas Capitol building for a 140-day regular session beginning the second Tuesday in January every odd-numbered year to vote on proposed legislation and pass a balanced state budget.