Two Republican senators are pushing for stiffer punishments for those who attack firefighters, police officers and criminal prosecutors.

The two senators, Jeff Sessions (Ala.) and Pat Toomey (Pa.), say the tougher punishments are necessary because of an increase in violence against police.

“It is important that we send the message that police lives also matter, and that if you target a police officer with violence, you will receive a harsh penalty,” Toomey said in a statement.

“The alarming spike in violence directed against the men and women entrusted with ensuring the safety and order of our society must be stopped,” Sessions said in the same statement.

The legislation also appears to be a response to the Black Lives Matter movement, which started because of complaints by people of color of violence perpetrated by police officers. Activists with the movement have interrupted several events by presidential candidates as part of an effort to get those running for president to pay more attention to the issue.

The Thin Blue Line Act introduced by Sessions and Toomey imposes some of the same protections afforded to federal law enforcement officials to those at the local level, the Hill reports.

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