My world has automation but I do not want guns or explosives. Yet, there is oil, and internal combustion to drive cars. I'd simply like no guns, for the purposes of the story.
They can have knives and arrows, etc.
Might my world be missing some compound, say potassium nitrate, and would that be sufficient to preclude the development of guns and explosives? I have a hard time imagining an earth like world with human like people and no potassium nitrate (since it is a simple chemical involving the elements of life.)
(I also suspect they could come up with another way to make guns that did not involve gunpowder.)
Is there a way that a technological world could exist and not have the ability to make guns?
(I can always write a law preventing them, but I'd rather not.)