In The News

Gohmert introduces 911 law to US House

Tyler Morning Telegraph, By Adam Russell

U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert introduced a bill to take a Texas law nationwide.

On Thursday, Gohmert announced filing “The Kari’s Law Act of 2015” in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would ensure anyone who dials 911 would reach emergency services directly.

The bill stems from a 2013 murder of Kari Hunt, of Marshall. Ms. Hunt’s 9-yearold daughter knew to dial 911 during an attack in a hotel room by Ms. Hunt’s estranged husband, but the young girl was unable to reach an outside line because it required she dial “9” before dialing 911.

“It is clear that our 911 system failed in a time of need,” Gohmert said in a release. “No longer should a child, or anyone for that matter, pick up the phone to call for help and get nothing.” Gohmert said it is necessary to ensure emergency operators are contacted immediately in matters of life and death. Texas Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, introduced “Kari’s Law” to address the same problem during the 2015 Texas Legislature. It passed and was signed into law.

Eltife said he was proud to introduce and pass the bill and hoped the law would prevent other tragedies.

“I think it’s great to take the law national so that no other family goes through that type of tragedy again,” Eltife said. “It’s a shame (the law) was in response to such a horrific event. I just hope the law is something good that came from it.”

Gohmert said his office worked to make the bill a reality when it learned the phone system upgrade could be done easily and with very little expense to businesses.

“While this legislation will not reverse the heartbreaking loss of Kari and all the horrors of that day, hopefully, her legacy will safeguard others so they may never experience a situation of this magnitude,” Gohmert said.