MONTPELIER (AP) - Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, who has crusaded against the production, export and use of antipersonnel land mines, says the Obama administration's announcement that the United States will no longer produce or acquire such weapons is an incremental but positive step.

The Democratic Leahy has been pushing Obama since March in a series of speeches on the Senate floor to sign an international treaty banning land mines.

Leahy said Friday that he hopes President Obama will sign the ban before he leaves office.

Leahy wrote the first law banning the export of mines that pose a danger to civilians.

He also started the USAID's Patrick Leahy War Victims Fund which provides artificial limbs, braces, wheelchairs and other services to help people with disabilities in war-torn countries.


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