On Friday, Montana became the first state to pass a bill banning TikTok. The Montana House voted 54-43 in favor of the legislation. The bill makes it illegal for app stores to allow users the option of downloading the app. It would also be illegal for the company to operate within the state.
If Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) signs the bill, it would go into effect in January and would mark the first state to ban the social media app outright.
Senate Bill 419 states, “A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: “AN ACT BANNING TIKTOK IN MONTANA; PROHIBITING A MOBILE APPLICATION STORE FROM OFFERING THE TIKTOK APPLICATION TO MONTANA USERS; PROVIDING FOR PENALTIES; PROVIDING FOR ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY; PROVIDING DEFINITIONS; PROVIDING FOR CONTINGENT VOIDNESS; AND PROVIDING A DELAYED EFFECTIVE DATE.”
Montana lawmakers gave final passage Friday to a bill banning the social media app TikTok from operating in the state, a move that’s bound to face legal challenges but also serve as a testing ground for the TikTok-free America many national lawmakers have envisioned.
The measure now goes to Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte for his consideration.
The state House voted 54-43 to pass the bill, which goes further than prohibitions in place in nearly half the states and the US federal government that prohibit TikTok on government devices. Montana already bans the app on state-owned devices.
TikTok spokesprson Brooke Oberwetter said in a statement that “We will continue to fight for TikTok users and creators in Montana whose livelihoods and First Amendment rights are threatened by this egregious government overreach.”
The bill’s supporters “have admitted that they have no feasible plan for operationalizing this attempt to censor American voices and that the bill’s constitutionality will be decided by the courts,” Oberwetter said.