California Refugee Lenny Magill Talks About His Journey to Becoming the Top Glock Manufacturer

Apr 3, 2021


Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed’s CEO and Founder Lenny Magill in studio to discuss his background and what led him to become the top Glock manufacturer.

Leahy: We are delighted to welcome to our microphones in studio, Lenny Magill, the CEO and founder of the Glock Store. Welcome, Lenny.

Magill: Well, thank you, Michael Patrick Leahy. What a great pleasure and honor it is to be here with you.

Leahy: Well, let’s start off with Magill. Now, is this Irish or Scottish?

Magill: Scottish.

Leahy: Scottish!

Magill: Yes, it is.

Leahy: Okay, so tell us a little bit about the background.

Magill: Well, I was born in Pennsylvania.

Leahy: Where in Pennsylvania?

Leahy: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I know Harrisburg. On the Susquehanna.

Magill: Absolutely. I went to Susquehanna High School.

Leahy: It’s a beautiful, beautiful area.

Magill: Yes. It’s the rolling hills, lots of trees, and lots of water. Really a great place to grow up. I had a great childhood.

Leahy: I have a recollection of being in Harrisburg as a kid. I grew up in upstate New York. And in the summer my dad would get the trailer and attach it to the car and we would travel around the country. We went to Gettysburg one summer.

Magill: Just outside of Harrisburg.

Leahy: But there was a trailer camp that you come in, you stop, you hook up. It was in Harrisburg. They had a beautiful sort of above ground pool. We had the greatest time in Harrisburg. I have very fond memories of Harrisburg.

Magill: And I do too. It was a great childhood. I loved being outdoors a little bit. A very outdoor area, lots of things to do outdoors as far as fishing and hiking and camping and all that.

Leahy: Yeah, exactly. They talk about Pennsylvania kind of being three states. The area around Philadelphia. You got the area around Pittsburgh, and then all in between. And they say it’s like Alabama moved to the North.  Have you heard that before?

Magill: Well, central Pennsylvania is very conservative, and it’s a great little spot to grow up. And that’s where Harrisburg is really more central. It’s Lancaster, Harrisburg, York, all those towns right around there. And that’s where I grew up. And it was really a great place to grow up. I was in Boy Scouts. I had a lot of fun.

Leahy: The Cub Scouts Webalo. The whole thing.

Magill: Cub Scouts. And I got to a Life Scout. One of the biggest, I guess disappointment in my life is that I didn’t stick around for the Eagle Scout. I had all the stuff in and lined up. My parents got divorced. I was 15, started interested in girls. I got my driver’s license. I was 16. All of a sudden, I kinda copped out and didn’t finish the Eagle Scout.

Leahy: So where did go from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania?

Magill: Well, I went a year at Temple.

Leahy: Temple? A Temple Owl.

Magill: Yes I was.

Leahy: In Philadelphia.

Magill: Temple University. And like I said, my parents had divorced. And I went down. And my dad’s a doctor, and he went to a Temple. And so I went to Temple and was disillusioned with college. I just didn’t like it. Big school.

Leahy: Temple is a big big school.

Magill: And it was in a pretty bad neighborhood. (Chuckles)

Leahy: It’s a bad part of Philadelphia. A football coach in the 1980s just won the Super Bowl.

Magill: Oh, really? How about that?

Leahy: The Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians.

Magill: I was there for a year. I did a year at Temple. And I just didn’t like college. I didn’t like the big classes, didn’t like the whole environment. And I had a girlfriend who moved to California.

Leahy: Ah ha!

Magill: And so I went home and told my dad, mom, I’m moving to California. And my dad was like, you’re crazy. And so my mom was like, oh, be careful. And so I moved to California when I was 18 years old.

Leahy: Southern California?

Magill: Yeah. I went to San Diego.

Leahy: By the way, in terms of physical beauty, is there any place in the world that’s physically more beautiful than San Diego, California?

Magill: Well, I would say the weather is great in San Diego, but I like the trees here in Nashville to be honest. That’s the one thing that’s missing. And the water is missing in California too. They have to import water here. There’s water everywhere here. And I just think the beauty of the forest and the trees themselves are fascinating.

Leahy: You grew up in that environment. So in San Diego, you arrive, you finished a year of college. What do you do?

Magill: Well, you know what? I had no money. My dad, like I said, he’s a doctor, but he’s old school. He said, Well, good luck. He didn’t give me any money. He gave me a credit card to buy gas to drive a car out there. But that was it. Then he killed the credit card. And so I was basically on my own in California. And I ended up working at a restaurant. I worked at Bob’s Big Boy.

Leahy: Bob’s Big Boy. I remember that well.

Magill: And I was a cook.

Leahy: You’re a cook?

Magill: I was bad news. And what’s interesting is that I noticed that the waiters and the waitresses, they didn’t have waiters, but all the waitresses were making all this money in tips. And I said, well, that’s pretty interesting. I’d like to get a part of that. They said, well, we don’t have men here. And then one day, I was taking the bus to work and I saw there was a job offer for you in this place called Farrell’s Ice Cream which was just an ice cream place. So I walked in and said, hey, I want to be a waiter. He says we can’t hire you as a waiter. You have to be a busboy first or a cook first. And I said I’m tired of being a cook. I want to be a waiter.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.