Taser Stocks Fall After Chicago Police Halts Distribution

Shares of Taser International Inc. (TASR) fell to a seven-month low Friday after Chicago's police chief called for a halt on distributing more of the company's stun guns.

The call from Chicago Police (search) Superintendent Philip Cline, first reported in the Chicago Tribune, comes after a Chicago man died on Thursday after police shot him with a Taser weapon.

Cline called for a halt in distributing 100 Tasers to city police, which was planned for the next few weeks, according to a spokesman for the Chicago Police. However he has authorized continued use of the 200 Tasers the department has now.

Chicago's move adds to debate over the safety of Taser weapons, which disable victims with a 50,000-volt shock.

Human rights group Amnesty International (search) says the stun guns have contributed to more than 70 deaths over the past few years, while the company maintains the weapons are safe and actually save lives, when used as an alternative to conventional guns.

Federal tests have not yet progressed far enough to offer conclusive evidence on the safety of the weapons.

Taser did not return a call seeking comment.

Taser shares fell $1.08, or 7.5 percent, to $13.37 on Nasdaq.