Gun Safety Group Rescinds ‘Candidate Honor’ Designation of State Delegate Candidate Following Abuse Allegations

This story was updated at 6:40 p.m. on July 15, 2022, to include additional information.

Moms Demand Action, an organization that campaigns for an end to gun violence, has revoked her ‘pistol sense candidate’ award from District 15 delegate candidate Saqib Ali following allegations of abuse by of his ex-wife.

Ali, 47, challenges incumbent Dels. Lily Qi, Linda Foley and David Fraser-Hidalgo in the July 19 Democratic primary for the district’s three delegate seats. Earlier this month, a final consent protection order was issued in a case involving allegations made by Ali’s wife that he was violent towards family members. Court documents say Ali consented to the order without “admitting the motion’s allegations or judicial finding of abuse.” The couple is engaged in divorce proceedings.

Everytown for Gun Safety, the parent organization of Moms Demand Action, states on its website that singling out gun candidates is not an endorsement, but rather an indication to voters that a candidate will govern by keeping gun safety in mind. Qi, Foley and Fraser-Hidalgo all received the accolade.

In an email to Bethesda Beat on Wednesday, Everytown for Gun Safety sent a statement saying “we have rescinded Saqib Ali’s Gun Sense Candidate award, which was awarded before these allegations came to light. ”

On his website, Ali listed the distinction of firearms applicants under the “endorsements” section as of Friday morning.

In a Friday afternoon text message, Ali wrote that Moms Demand Action had never spoken to him.

“They never asked me what was going on. They also gave me no indication or explanation for their action. So I can’t comment unless I have more information from them,” he wrote.

Campaign letter promises to protect women’s health

Despite allegations of abuse by his wife, Ali sent a campaign letter in which he promised to protect women’s reproductive rights. One side of the mail says “women are no longer safe in Maryland.”

In the mailer, Ali is pictured against the backdrop of a Planned Parenthood health center with the message “We need stronger Democrats.”

The ad warns of states in which Republicans have tried to make it a crime for women to have abortions in other states where it is legal. No state currently has a ban on traveling to another state for an abortion, but there is an attempt to do so in Missouri, Poynter reported last week.

Photo by Louis Peck.

Ali’s announcement mentions that other states with Democratic lawmakers “have set themselves up as sanctuary states to block these Republican bounty hunters.” When Maryland Democrats tried to do the same, our District 15 delegates failed to act in time,” he said.

Ali’s mailer refers to the Freedom of Pregnant Persons Act 2022 – legislation that would ensure that civil or criminal charges could not be brought against anyone who has an abortion, miscarriage or stillbirth. The bill did not make it out of the House of Delegates in the last session.

This year, the legislature passed the law on access to abortion care, sponsored by Del. Ariana Kelly (D-Bethesda), overriding a veto from Governor Larry Hogan. The bill establishes a training program and funds to address the shortage of abortion providers in the state, and requires the governor to appropriate $3.5 million in the annual budget bill. Qi, Foley and Fraser Hidalgo all voted “yes” override Hogan’s veto.

Additionally, in Montgomery County, State’s Attorney John McCarthy has pledged that his office will not cooperate with out-of-state authorities who attempt to prosecute women for seeking abortions. out of state.

Qi, Foley and Fraser-Hidalgo did not respond to phone calls or emails from Bethesda Beat seeking comment on the announcement earlier this week.

Dan Schere can be contacted at [email protected]

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