Montana Lawmakers Vote To Ban TikTok

On Friday, Montana became the first US state to pass legislation banning TikTok on all personal devices. A new was sent to Gov. Greg Gianforte prohibiting TikTok from operating within state lines and barring app stores from offering TikTok for downloads. 

This new legislation, marks the furthest step yet by a state government to restrict TikTok over perceived security concerns and comes as some federal lawmakers have called for a national ban of TikTok. 

Lawmakers in Montana’s House voted 54-43 to give final approval to the bill, known as SB419. Should Gianforte sign the bill, it would take effect in January. But the legislation could quickly face significant legal challenges.

Related: Australia Joins Bandwagon & Looks To Ban TikTok

“The governor will carefully consider any bill the legislature sends to his desk,” said Brooke Stroyke, a spokesperson for Gianforte. In December, Gianforte banned TikTok from state government devices and the following month urged the Montana University System to follow suit, which it did.

TikTok responded with a statement.

“The bill’s champions 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,” said TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter. “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.”