This practice isn't new. In '65 my marine unit on DaNang air base was in country for 60 days without ammunition. Our tents were less than 100 feet from the perimeter concertina wire. We had bullet holes in the tents. But because we were air wing pogues, the brass thought we would shoot ourselves in the foot with real bullets in our "guns." Our rifles were in our tents & no ammo. We were issued it on an as needed basis when we stood guard duty every other week.
Some Army infantry units kept their guns locked in an armory when not in the field.
Word has it that when Bill Clinton reviewed the troops the bolts had to be taken out of their rifles. The guy's ego was out of control. No one would waste a round on a rat. They were stepped on.