“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 education should be available to everyone,” she said. “I think it’s important that we not ban guns because obviously people will find a way to get what they want anyways. I think it’s our Second Amendment right. We just need more safety surrounding that.”
The 22-year-old won the nationwide contest on Monday night, making her the first Mississippian to hold the coveted pageant crown. Branch previously made history by becoming the first African American to win Miss Mississippi.
She also once sang the “Star Spangled Banner” at a Trump rally back in 2018, as per The Daily Mail’s report, although the video of Branch performing at the event has now been removed from her Instagram page. Her account on the popular social media platform also features videos of her shooting guns.
The finals of the Miss USA contest took place at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, a property that was once owned by rock legend Elvis Presley. According to E! News, she beat another 50 contestants at the pageant show, which was aired live and hosted a socially-distanced audience.
The official Miss USA Instagram account shared a picture of Branch wearing her new Power of Positivity crown, which was designed by Swiss jewelry maker Mouawad. In the picture, she wore her black-and-white gown and a pair of equally jaw-dropping earrings.
Branch reportedly impressed the judges with her answer to a question about the divisiveness felt in the U.S. following President Trump’s reported election defeat. She said that American citizens had “lost trust” in the different systems that make up the country, including the government and the media. She added that it was imperative for everyone to come together and work to restore faith in those systems.
The Ole Miss graduate also scored major points in the swimsuit competition as well as in the evening gown department. Furthermore, she is a fitness enthusiast, a skilled singer, and a successful entrepreneur who owns her own beauty company, Glamour reported.
The Miss USA contest used to be owned by Donald Trump. The former crown-holder, Cheslie Kryst, said last year that she probably would not have taken part in the pageant if the president still owned it, as The Inquisitr reported.