AUSTIN — House Bill 103, a bill filed by State Representative 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 Governor 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 said. “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 August 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 continued. “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 (DPS) 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.
The 87th Texas Legislative Session began in January and is underway through May 31st. In accordance with the Texas Constitution, the state legislature meets for a 140-day regular session every odd-numbered year to vote on legislation and pass a balanced state budget. The governor has up to 20 days after each session in which to sign and veto bills passed by the House and Senate. Any bill that has not been signed or vetoed by that deadline goes into effect without the governor’s signature.