A bill to designate Antifa as a domestic terrorist organization was shelved by Montana lawmakers Friday, less than a month after it was proposed by 20-year-old Republican state Rep. Braxton Mitchell.
Members of the Republican-led Montana state House Judiciary Committee voted 14-5 to table the resolution after it was brought up for discussion late in the final moments of a nearly three-hour hearing.
Speaking in support of his bill several weeks earlier, Mr. Mitchell said that passing it would send a message that Montana condemns Antifa, a far-left political movement short for “anti-fascist.”
However, Mr. Mitchell said at the same time that he was unaware of any “Antifa incidents” happening in Montana and said his resolution was meant to deter any from occurring within the state.
“The intent is to send a message that we as a state won’t tolerate a group like this coming into our state or being involved in such actions in our state,” Mr. Mitchell when he introduced the bill.
Mr. Mitchell said earlier this month that his bill had 50 co-sponsors in the state House of Representatives, but it was tabled without any ever being listed on the state legislator’s site.
A message requesting comment from Mr. Mitchell was not immediately answered over the weekend.
Republicans critical of Antifa have blamed the activists for violence in some U.S. cities. Former President Trump said while in the White House that he would designate it to be a terrorist group but never did.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently assessed white supremacist domestic extremists to be “the most persistent and lethal threat” currently facing the nation from within.
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