Mississippi’s Asya Branch, Pro-Gun and Pro-Trump, Crowned Miss USA 2020

Miss Missippi Asya Branch watches as President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Landers Center Arena, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, in Southaven, Miss. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

The first black woman to be crowned Miss Mississippi was crowned Miss USA on Monday, and will go on to represent the United States in the Miss Universe pageant. The beauty queen, Asya Branch, is also pro-Second Amendment and has previously met with President Donald Trump for a roundtable discussion on criminal justice reform.

At the pageant, the 22-year-old Ole Miss grad was asked how she believes Americans can bring the country back together in the wake of having become a more “polarized” society.

“I think this is an issue of trust. We’ve lost trust in the systems that seem to keep our country running, from the media to business to our government, and it’s all about restoring that trust, and coming together, and working together,” said Branch. “If we want to continue to be the greatest nation, we’re going to have to set a better example.”

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Branch was also asked about her stance on gun laws, to which the beauty queen responded that “as someone who grew up in a home with guns, I learned at an early age how to load, how to fire, and gun safety, and I think that [gun] education should be available to everyone.”

“I think it’s important that we not ban guns — because obviously, people will find a way to get what they want anyways — but I think it’s our Second Amendment right, and we just need more safety surrounding that,” added Branch.

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The pageant was originally scheduled for spring 2020 but, like was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, and later held on Monday, November 9 at Graceland Exhibition Center in Memphis, Tennessee, where Branch, a University of Mississippi graduate, was crowned Miss USA.

Branch also revealed in a September interview that her father was incarcerated for ten years, which inspired her to advocate for criminal justice reform, leading up to her meeting with President Trump and other officials to discuss how to reintegrate former prisoners into society.

“I was able to participate in a roundtable discussion with the President of the United States, and the vice president, and other government officials on how to reintegrate inmates back into society. This led the passing of the First Step Act,” said Branch in a September interview.

“I learned a lot about myself, but at the same time, while sharing my story and going through so much but not letting it stop me, I’ve been able to heal while also helping others find their way,” added Branch.

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Branch had also performed the National Anthem at a Trump rally in Southaven, Mississippi, in October of 2018, according to a report by the Daily Beast.

“Incredible honor to sing the national anthem tonight in Southaven for the President Trump rally,” wrote Branch in the caption of an Instagram post from the event.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler at @alana, and on Instagram.

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