Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), whose state experienced its second major massacre in 13 years in 2012,  signed new gun control measures into law Wednesday.

Hickenlooper's signature came less than a day after the head of the state's department of corrections, Tom Clements, was shot dead in his home.

From the AP:

The governor of Colorado signed bills Wednesday that put sweeping new restrictions on sales of firearms and ammunition in a state with a pioneer tradition of gun ownership and self-reliance.

The bills thrust Colorado into the national spotlight as a potential test of how far the country might be willing to go with new gun restrictions after the horror of mass killings at an Aurora movie theater and a Connecticut elementary school.

The approval by Gov. John Hickenlooper came exactly eight months after dozens of people were shot at the theater, and the day after the executive director of the state Corrections Department was shot and killed at his home.

The bills require background checks for private and online gun sales and ban ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds.

Two ballot measures have already been proposed to try to undo the restrictions.

New York in January became the first state to pass major gun control legislation following the tragedy in Newtown, Conn. Colorado is the second state.

Democrats in Congress are crafting a bill that will include universal background checks but, we learned Tuesday, is unlikely to include a new assault weapons ban.