"When this incident happened, it's like, you know, we have no place for these weapons in our community," Spradlin says.
He's had plenty of experience with his trusty firearm.
"I started in Bentonville Police Department in 1981," Spradlin says. "And I carried one for years, trained police officers on it, I received training myself."
Trained to use deadly force, Spradlin is a former S.W.A.T. team commander who wanted to continue carrying a weapon when he retired from the force in 2006.
"When I retired, I contacted the distributor and asked, 'Can I purchase one of these guns for myself, as a souvenir for my career?'" Spradlin says.
It was an AR-15 assault rifle that hasn't been fired, nor has it even been loaded since his retirement.
"I'm a firm believer if you're going to own guns, be responsible, and since then it has been stored away in a gun safe," Spradlin says.
But Friday's unfathomable tragedy hit too close to home for Dennis, leading him to give up his gun.
"When you see the pictures of what happened in Newtown, Conneticut, and you see the people, you see that they are identical to us, I really feel like their community almost mirrors our community," Spradlin says.
"So I contacted Jon Simpson, Chief of Police in Bentonville, and asked him if he would accept as a donation, and he said that he would."
Spradlin surrendered his souvenir to the department he once worked for; the department that trained him on how to use the trigger.
"I've seen a lot of tragedies in my career, and a lot of tragedies with firearms," Spradlin says. "I think we have to take control and responsibilities ourselves."
And that's Spradlin's main point in his message: responsibility and safe storage, for those who do choose to bear arms.
"We can't rely on the government to make a decision for us," Spradlin adds. "Give yourself and your family a Christmas present this year, go out and buy a gun safe, do it for our community, too."