Gohmert exploring fix to 911 emergency call system

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) says he is exploring legislation that would make it easier to make 911 emergency calls from hotels and other businesses.

The change is a response to the murder of Kari Dunn, who was killed in front of her three young children by her husband in a hotel on Dec. 1. Dunn's oldest daughter tried to dial 911 to get help, but didn't realize she had to dial another number first in order to reach an outside line.

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Dunn's father started a petition to ensure 911 calls can be made from hotels without first having to dial another number. Her father has written to Gohmert and other lawmakers asking for enactment of "Kari's law."

In an interview with the Longview News-Journal published Monday, Gohmert said he is considering legislation to require this change.

"We've been looking at it … been doing some research," Gohmert told the paper. "I've talked to some other Congressmen interested in helping get something done. We've been looking at the law and talking to carriers."

Gohmert said some change is needed to resolve the problem, "especially in a situation like this where a child is in a situation and have been taught to dial 911 and can’t get it done."

The 911 system has been around for decades in some form, but it took until 1999 for it to be officially designated as the nationwide emergency telephone number. Gohmert said he is open to improving the federal law to ensure the number that millions of children memorize in case of trouble can be easily dialed from hotels and other businesses.

"But, we're also looking at what would be the most effective way to do it without overburdening businesses," he said. "We don't want businesses to be out of a bunch of cost where they have to lay off a lot of employees. But certainly, we want to get something done."