As mass shootings continue to plague our movie theaters, shopping malls and even schools, voices on either side of the gun control debate have grown louder. In many cases, gun control and gun rights advocates have struggled to find common ground.

Those advocating for stricter gun control measures have suggested requiring universal background checks and placing restrictions on the size of magazines. Others who oppose gun ownership restrictions – including at least one state representative in Missouri – have resisted proposed gun control laws, including those that would ban assault weapons.

Despite these disagreements, there is one area in which both sides may be able to find some common ground – liability insurance.

What would liability insurance for gun owners entail?

Liability insurance could take a variety of forms when offered to gun owners. Many suggest the policies should cover accidental and negligent incidents, while others believe they should also extend to intentional acts – particularly those done in self-defense.

Premiums for such insurance would vary based on the type of gun owned and the gun owner’s history. For instance, an individual with no history of violence who owns a hunting rifle would have lower premiums than a person with a history of domestic abuse who owns an assault weapon.

Some form of liability insurance has been promoted by people on either side of the debate, including the National Rifle Association. The NRA has come out in favor of voluntary liability insurance for gun owners, and even offers such insurance to its members. The NRA opposes mandatory liability insurance coverage, as recommended by some gun control advocates.

Liability insurance could help victims of gun violence recover damages

According to the National Institute of Justice, over 11,340 people were killed because of gun violence in 2005. In Kansas City, Missouri alone, 226 people died due to gun violence from 2006 to 2007. Of those, 40 of the victims of gun violence were children between the ages of 10 and 19.

If the gun owners responsible for those incidents were required to have liability insurance, the insurance policy would be responsible for compensating the victims’ families in wrongful death suits. The victims’ families would be more likely to recover some form of compensation for the tragic death of their loved one if the gun owner had insurance.

While discussing gun control proposals often leads to heated debates, it is important to remember the victims injured or killed by gun violence. Although nothing can replace the tragic loss of a loved one, victims of gun violence may be entitled to damages. If you have been affected by gun violence, consulting with a skilled, Kansas City personal injury attorney will ensure your rights are protected.