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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Gun safety advocates are calling for legislative passage of a bill that would make it a crime to sell a gun to a person who's prohibited from possessing a weapon.

Portland Democratic Rep. Mark Dion's bill, which is up for House and Senate votes, is aimed at private firearms sales, which advocates say comprise 40 percent of the gun sales that take place.

Dion's bill would make it illegal and set fines for selling firearms to a convicted felon or person who's on the so-called prohibited list. It creates a defense for a seller who conducts a background check, and increases the penalty from $50 to $1,000 for giving a false name to a firearms dealer.

The measure comes up amid separate bills introduced since December's Newtown, Conn., school massacre.

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