Stun gun maker Taser International Inc. (TASR) on Wednesday reported a steep decline in third-quarter profit, hurt by slumping sales amid the ongoing controversy over the safety of its stun guns.

Quarterly income dropped to $270,945, or less than 1 cent per share, from $6.1 million, or 11 cents per share, the year before.

Net sales totaled $11.7 million, down 38 percent from $18.9 million a year earlier, the company said.

However, Taser said its gross margin widened by 4.3 percentage points from the second quarter from improved operating efficiency and changes in its product mix. Coupled with lower expenses, the bigger margin helped it stay profitable, Taser added.

Taser shares fell 11 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $6.86 on the Nasdaq Stock Market (search).

Meanwhile, Taser said Wednesday that plaintiffs in Indiana have withdrawn a wrongful-death lawsuit against the stun-gun maker. The plaintiffs' filing of a stipulation for dismissal leaves each party responsible for its own legal costs and Taser not liable for any damages, the company said.