The Montana House of Representatives voted 60-39 Thursday to endorse a bill that would completely ban TikTok in the state, marking a step toward the most extreme measure to restrict the app in the U.S. so far.

The House will likely vote have a final vote on Friday, then the bill will go to Gov. Greg Gianforte. The Senate passed the bill in March. Montana has already prohibited TikTok on government devices, along with more than 30 other states, the federal government and other countries.

Lawmakers are taking action against TikTok out of concern that ByteDance could be using the app to give the Chinese government access to user data, although there is no evidence that this has actually happened. Those who see the app as a security threat cite two Chinese laws that require companies to work with the government on national intelligence.

The proposed Montana law would forbid TikTok downloads on any device in the state and would fine app stores and TikTok $10,000 for letting anyone access the app. Users would receive no penalties for attempted downloads.

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If passed, the bill would likely face legal challenges, according to The Associated Press. Opponents say it would give the government too much power and that users could get around the restrictions via Virtual Private Networks. A TechNet representative who spoke at a March hearing said it would be impossible for app stores to control downloads on a state-by-state basis.

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, a Republican who supports the TikTok ban, said such control measures — called geofencing — have worked on gambling apps in states where gambling is illegal.

In a response statement, TikTok pointed out that the bill would cause local businesses to lose an important platform for promotion and sales.

“We’re especially sorry to the thousands of Montana businesses that use our app to boost sales and find new customers,” the statement reads. It even gives a shout out to White Bear Moccasins, a company whose owner, Shauna White Bear, said the bill would “show Montana doesn’t support entrepreneurs in our own state,” per AP.

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The company has even bought billboards and newspaper ads to encourage users to take action against the ban.

“Montana’s bill isn’t about making users safe, it’s about unilaterally restricting the freedom of Montanans based on nothing more than fears and falsehoods,” the company said.

U.S. legislators are considering more extensive TikTok regulations on a federal level, some even backing a nationwide ban. If such a law passes, the Montana bill will be abandoned. However, Knudson doubts Congress will act fast enough.

“I think Montana’s got an opportunity here to be a leader,” he said in the March hearing.

Perspective: When it comes to TikTok, don’t be conquered in your own kingdom
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