Montana lawmakers vote to ban TikTok statewide

The measure would bar TikTok from operating in the state and forbid app stores from offering it for download in Montana.

Published: April 14, 2023 5:40pm

Updated: April 14, 2023 5:43pm

Montana lawmakers on Friday passed legislation to ban TikTok within the start and block downloads of the app entirely, becoming the first state in the nation to do so.

Both the federal government and numerous states have already barred the social media platform's use on official devices, but those bans have stopped shy of outright forbidding the app on personal devices.

The Montana state House voted 54-43 to approve the ban, sending it to Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte for signature, the Wall Street Journal reported. Should he sign it, the ban would take effect on Jan. 1, 2024, and would bar TikTok from operating in the state and forbid app stores from offering it for download in Montana. 

The Senate previously approved the measure in a 30-20 vote, the Montana Free Press reported.

The Chinese-owned social media app, has come under scrutiny for possible security concerns given that its parent company, the Beijing-based ByteDance, enjoys close relations with the Chinese government. Security officials such as FBI Director Christopher Wray have warned of the potential threat the app poses to American users.

"I guess my point is that just to tie it all up, [TikTok] is a substantial national security threat for the country of a kind that we didn't face in the past," he said in April.

Federal lawmakers have floated a nationwide TikTok ban, but have thus far not voted on such a plan. Former President Donald Trump while in office attempted to ban the app or force its sale to an American company, but was unsuccessful.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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