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Abbott Signs ‘Kari’s Law’ To Make Calling 911 Easier

Office of the Governor

AUSTIN — On Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law that required establishments like hotels and motels to make it easier to dial 911. “There’s a lesson virtually every parent teaches their child – if you face an emergency, call 9-1-1.”

By Gov. Abbott’s side, during the signing of Senate Bill 788 were the bill’s authors, Sen. Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler) Rep. Chris Paddie (R-Marshall) and Kari Rene Hunt Dunn’s family.

She was murdered in December 2013 at the Baymont Inn and Suites in Marshall by her estranged husband, Brad Allen Dunn.

Brad Dunn, who fled the scene with their four-year old child, leaving behind two older children, was later charged with first-degree murder, found guilty and received a 99-year sentence.

The other part of this tragic story is that their then-9-year-old daughter tried calling 911 four times for help, but couldn’t reach an outside line because of the motel phone system.

“I am signing Kari’s Law to ensure that whenever there is an emergency, any child and any adult who dials 9-1-1 is going to be able to connect with emergency personnel to ensure they come to the rescue of those who need help the most,” said Abbott. “Today cements in history the important role Kari Hunt has played and I’m thankful for her and her family in changing the course of the future of the State of Texas.”

He said the new rules — known as “Kari’s Law” — were made help ensure that anyone who dials 911 during an emergency will be able to connect. Across the U.S., and around the world, many hotels need guests to dial “9” first or call an operator before calling any outside line, including 911.