AUGUSTA (AP) — A bill designed to encourage background checks for gun sales has failed in the Maine Legislature.

The Democratic-controlled House on Wednesday voted to sustain Republican Gov. LePage’s veto of the bill.

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

In his veto message, LePage said that the bill doesn’t address the real issues surrounding gun violence.

Bill sponsor Rep. Mark Dion, a Democrat from Portland said he will continue fighting to encourage background checks and improve public safety.

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