Community and church leaders gathered in the room at Charleston's Emanuel AME Church where nine parishioners were gunned down to start an effort to curb gun violence in South Carolina.

Organizers of a new nonprofit called Gun Sense SC say the group will work for tighter background checks on gun sales while at the same time respecting people's rights to bear arms.

The organization also plans what it calls a Stand-Up Sunday next month to get faith groups to discuss the issue. Organizers are predicting 1,000 congregations will participate.

The group says it is asking congregations statewide to send nine members to Columbia when gun legislation comes up next year for key votes.

At least 10 gun control bills have been proposed for new legislative session.