Maine lawmakers OKs gun background check bill

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine lawmakers have approved a bill designed to encourage gun sellers to perform background checks.

The Democratic-led House gave final approval to the bill on Wednesday. It faces further votes in the Senate before heading to Republican Gov. Paul LePage.

Under the bill, background checks would be voluntary. But, sellers would get a $500 civil fine if they don't do a background check and it's determined that the person they sold the gun to is banned from buying guns, like a convicted felon.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Mark Dion, D-Portland. He says the bill will help reduce gun violence by stopping guns from getting into the hands of people who shouldn't have them.